Gas prices fluctuate more in the Midwest than any other region in the country.
According to Gas Buddy.com, Kokomo has the most volatile fuel prices in the nation, with an average shift of 16 cents per gallon every week.
Ft. Wayne and Indianapolis were ranked in the top five cities with the most volatile gas prices.
Gas Buddy Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick Dehaan says competition between stations in the Great Lakes area leads to the continuing fluctuations.
“The markets are almost hyper competitive in these areas – gas stations continually undercut each other until they are both losing money and then one decides to raise prices very high to make up for that loss and then the other station matches – then they start going back and forth on prices going down,” he says.
Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association Executive Director Scot Imus says the average profit from gasoline sales nationally is 18 cents per gallon, but in Indiana the average is closer to 9.8 cents.
He says some in some cases, gas stations are selling fuel below cost so they don’t lose customers.
“Aside from the sudden shock they might feel and regret they did not buy gasoline an hour ago before it moved, many, many times the consumer benefits from that volatility” he says.
Imus says Indiana retail gas stations have among the lowest profit from fuel sales in the nation. They ranked 49th in the country last year.