Falling pump prices will prompt downward price trend

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jan 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-06 16:45:02-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - When it comes to the price you're paying at the pump, thank Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.A.

"Saudi Arabia and Iraq started fighting over the price of oil and they started discounting their oil to try to gain market share," said Paul Isely, associate dean at Grand Valley State University's Seidman College of Business.

That's because the U.S. is buying less oil and producing more domestically due to hydraulic fracturing and increased drilling.

"Fuel is part of almost everything that we purchase," said Isely. " It could result in price decreases."

One area where prices are expected to be dropping soon is at the grocery store.

"If you look at food, 50 percent of the cost of that food is attributable to things like oil," explained Isely. "You need oil and natural gas to make fertilizers; you need it to transport the food; you need it to dry the food;  you need it to produce the food."

While the prices will fall, it will take some time - likely three to six months, according to Isely.

gas graph

By that time, the price at the pump is likely to be higher.

"Right now, we’re seeing the price that refiners get be lower than is sustainable," Isely said. "They can’t keep the price this low and continue to make money."