Northeast Fuel Prices

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Green-ee
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It's my understanding that #2

It's my understanding that #2 fuel prices are driven more by the world market. As 3rd world nation's economies grow #2 fuel prices increase.

johnw
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Ugeneto , possibly one dealer

Ugeneto , possibly one dealer is locked into some higher diesel futures.that he contracted gambling that spot prices would go up.And the other is buying theirs on the spot market at a lower cost .......don’t know. In most markets sellers tend to stay at the same price as there nearest and biggest competitor,unfortunately that gives consumers the impression that they are collluding on the price when in fact it is just simple marketing .

Ugenetoo
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You say "Tomattos", I say

You say "Tomattos", I say "Tomatoes".
It sure as hell looks like price gouging as the end result.
Something similar happened a few years back with fertilizer prices.
A major producer (also a major player in the petroleum business) bought futures for natural gas, which is used to produce nitrogen, a major portion of agricultural fertilizers.
It turned out to be a very poor decision for them, as gas prices tanked.
Farmers started seeing prices 1/3 less down in the Connecticut River Valley.
The prices came down considerably after people started hauling it north.
That's the way the market is supposed to work.
The consumer should not have to pay for one company's poor business decisions while the others make huge profits by colluding to keep those prices up.

Economike
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Ugenetoo -

Ugenetoo -

I would better understand your posts if you would explain "price gouging."

How can anyone clearly tell the difference between price-gouging and profit-seeking?

Ugenetoo
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Price gouging is taking

Price gouging is taking advantage of a captive market.
It is but one form of profit seeking.

Economike
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So "price gouging" is a kind

So "price gouging" is a kind of profit-seeking to be found in "captive markets."

This definition strikes me as circular. Just as one might try to find a principle to separate "price gouging" from "profit seeking" your definition of price gouging leads to another conundrum. What exactly is a "captive market?" What principle separates "captive market" from "market?"

Surely you can't credibly claim that the market for residential heating is a captive market. Or is that your point?

anonymous_coward
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When he says "price gouging"

When he says "price gouging" I think he is referring to what we typically call, "rent seeking".

Economike
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anon -

anon -

Agreed, in part. I suspect that rent-seeking is part of Ugenetoo's price-gouging narrative, as he seemed to imply in his mention of the Maine Oil Dealers' lobbying efforts.

However, I think "price gouging" and "captive market" don't help to make a coherent argument. They're expressions that mean whatever anyone wants them to mean.

Let's say, for example, that there are three or four dominant food retailers in Maine. And, everyone needs food. Does this prove that "there is no competition" because of "price gouging" in a "captive market" for groceries in Maine?

Ugenetoo
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The only thing circular here

The only thing circular here is your dancing around the subject.
As I said before, on road diesel prices are gouging the trucking companies that have no choice but to pay them.
Heating oil prices mirror diesel prices due to being the same product without the road taxes.
Yes, any heating oil customer can make the choice to use another product, as JohnW's statistics and my own situation has shown.
Trucking companies, however, don't have that choice.
They are in a captive market subject to greedy price gouging.
Sorry if you can't understand the common terminology, but I suspect you know exactly where I'm coming from, but for some reason just want to argue about it.

Green-ee
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Dysarts in Hermon might have

Dysarts in Hermon might have great pies but their diesel prices have always been a thumb in the eye. Diesel fuel prices in Maine are very non-competitive, and driving south diesel prices don't start getting better until Virginia. There's something to be said for those huge roadside signs with gas and diesel prices. Thank Ladybird for that.

Economike
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Sorry if you can't understand

Sorry if you can't understand the common terminology, but I suspect you know exactly where I'm coming from, but for some reason just want to argue about it.

That's about right, Ugenetoo. I understand the common terminology. The issue I've been arguing is this: what's the point of interpreting the behavior of oil wholesalers and retailers as "price gouging?"

Let's agree, for the sake of argument, that the Maine Oil Dealers are colluding in price gouging. What then?

Ugenetoo
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What then?

What then?
Well, if nothing else, this thread has shown how to deal with trolls.
Just ignore them and continue on with the conversation.
Include them if they actually are adding to the conversation, otherwise just make believe they're not even here.

As to the other part of the question, if nothing else, at least someone has broached the subject and put into a public forum. Perhaps others can chime in with their information, or concerns.
Personally, I think an investigation into price fixing by someone in the government is in order.

anonymous_coward
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@Ugenetoo: "Sorry if you can

@Ugenetoo: "Sorry if you can't understand the common terminology, but I suspect you know exactly where I'm coming from, but for some reason just want to argue about it."

It's possible that this is price gouging, but it's also possible this is just good old fashioned inelastic demand - i.e. if the price goes up, the buyers still have to buy the same amount so the overall demand for the product changes very only slightly. As opposed to, say, safflower oil. If the price of safflower oil goes up, I'm going to switch to cooking with canola or olive oil.

johnw
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It's real simple , when a

It's real simple , when a couple of companies decide they can't stand the prosperity ,they will drop retails and others will follow as their volume drops off. When the same companies decide they hate operating for the exercise they will raise their retails and others will follow them up If that is price gouging .....

Ugenetoo
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That won't happen.

That won't happen.
If it was a possibility, it would have happened a long time ago.

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