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to the Editor
Edgefield Fuel explains gas pricing
posted September 17, 2008
These past few days have been filled with a great deal of confusion and
speculation in regards to local fuel pricing. There is no doubt that
some of this is due to simply not understanding what is going on;
therefore I will try to address some of your questions
What caused the fuel panic?
I believe radio and television are responsible. They were predicting
total doom last Thursday because of (category 2) hurricane Ike. Because
of this, our Edgefield customers were filling up just about anything
that would hold fuel. Consequently, we went through three days of fuel
supply in less than 12 hours of business.
Why do you have such large differences in fuel prices between stores?
In Edgefield, the excessive demand on Thursday and Friday simply ran
all of our fuel tanks dry. I had to buy at the top price Friday night
just to get gasoline for Edgefield. In Johnston, Saluda, and McCormick,
the demand for fuel was much less, and there was an ample supply of
lower priced fuel left in those fuel tanks.
Had there been less panic in Edgefield, we would have had fuel at a
How can you raise the price of fuel when there has not been a tanker on
your property all day?
Each time we order fuel, three of our stores usually share one tanker
truck. We never “fill-up” a store’s fuel tanks with one tanker or one
price. This practice minimizes our risk in certain market conditions
and keeps inventory costs lower. Our stores will have multiple layers
of different priced fuel in their tanks.
When the sales volume is extraordinarily high as it was last week, we
will burn through different priced layers of fuel in a very short
period of time.
Why are you price gouging?
I am not price gouging. In Edgefield, for example, I bought gasoline
for two stores at $4.82 a gallon. We sold it for $4.99 a gallon. If
customers paid for their fuel with a credit card, we made about 5¢
Why does the store on Main Street in Edgefield sell gas only to
Gasoline is in short supply. I told the town government that I would
guarantee fuel for the police and fire departments if there were a
threat of no fuel in town. This is not the case any longer and things
are back to normal there.
When will prices come down?
I am reading that prices should begin coming down in around 10 days or
possibly sooner. I believe at some point during that time frame prices
will drop drastically in a very short period of time.
In closing, I would like to say that our business is nothing less than
high stakes gambling. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Each day
we are betting by buying a wildly unpredictable (fuel) commodity and in
turn selling it in an extremely competitive marketplace.
In the next few days we will surely see the fuel price drop and our
company will certainly lose by having fuel product in the ground
costing more than the market will bear. It’s inevitable. Consequently
we will sell this gasoline at a loss. Don’t worry…. I won’t complain
that you are gouging me.
Edgefield Fuel and Convenience
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