Tiger Fuel Offers Gas Price Explanation

Brian McNeill asked around about Charlottesville’s high gas prices for the Daily Progress, and got the following from the president of local fuel distributor Tiger Fuel:

“The prices are changing very quickly. They’re coming down,” said David Sutton, president of Tiger Fuel Co., which operates a dozen local gas stations and provides oil to roughly 100 others. “Right now, Charlottesville’s prices are a little higher than elsewhere, but they’ll come down, certainly by the end of the week.”

High-volume gas stations are generally charging less than some others, Sutton said, because they are resupplying with gas bought at a lower rate. Stations with less volume are charging higher prices, he said, because they have not yet run out of the more expensive fuel.

The Charlottesville region’s market, he said, does not consume gas as rapidly as places like Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and Richmond. Consequently, Charlottesville’s prices sometimes lag behind when it comes to price, he said.

“This is not a high-volume market,” Sutton said. “Our prices don’t change as quickly.”

In a comment on the Progress’ site, reader JB makes a good point about this logic:

If C’ville gas prices are slow to decline because of the area being “low-volume”, then the same logic should apply when prices are on the rise. I don’t recall the C’ville area lagging behind when the price was going up. Greedy gas weasels!

The good news is that price are dropping. The bad news is that it’s because the economy is in a nosedive.

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