US consumers are bracing for additional fuel price increases

  • US consumers are bracing for additional fuel price increases

    We’re seeing news stories all over the country, both nationally and on a local level, bracing US consumers for rising retail fuel prices in the coming weeks. The reasons given include unrest in Egypt, increased demand due to the summer season, and production disruptions in the US.

    The source of the stories is consistently the American Automobile Association (AAA), which receives its pricing information from OPIS. The PriceAdvantage integration with OPIS allows PriceAdvantage customers to provide their latest pricing information to OPIS, and thus display the current gas prices on websites that receive pricing information from OPIS, including MSN Autos, Garmin, AAA, and MapQuest.

    From a fuel management perspective, these news stories mean two things.

    1. If OPIS is correct, and wholesale prices continue to rise, fuel retailers are looking at more weeks with continued slim retail fuel margins. It will be a time period of holding on, waiting for the crest and fall of wholesale prices when retail prices can catch up, and retail margins can be restored.
    2. Consumers may not be happy with increased retail fuel prices, but at least they won’t be caught off guard. That means there will be opportunities for fuel retailers to adjust retail fuel margins and make up lost ground when wholesale fuel prices drop again.

    In order to navigate these times of fluctuating retail fuel margins, analysts in the fuel management area need to maximize their investment and use of their fuel software to optimize fuel profits. Only the most sophisticated fuel software can provide the optimized balance between fuel margins and fuel volumes in times like these.


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