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unleaded futures anyone?
Old 05-11-2006, 09:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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unleaded futures anyone?

found this on another board. Isn't capitalism wonderful?

$2.73 a Gallon? Not at First Fuel Banks

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (May 8) - Most motorists are feeling the pain as gasoline creeps toward, or over, $3 a gallon -- but not Art Altrichter.

"This feels pretty good!" Altrichter said as he filled the tank of his Ford F-150 pickup for $2.03 a gallon on Thursday, when the average here was $2.73. "Right now, to be a few pennies over $2, when it's as high as it is? That's a real deal."

A year ago, the retired milk truck driver bought 500 gallons of gas at First Fuel Banks, locking it in at the then-current price of $2.03 a gallon. He taps that reserve whenever gas rises above that mark. If the retail price drops below $2.03, he can leave his reserve alone and buy elsewhere.

First Fuel Banks bills itself as the only retailer in the country where customers can buy gasoline for the future and hedge against rising prices. It advertises no service charge and no storage charge, just a $1 lifetime membership fee.

Altrichter said one of his neighbors got in at First Fuel Banks several years ago and is now is withdrawing from a reserve that cost him 99 cents a gallon. "How about that!" he said.

Both people and businesses buy gas from the company, which has six stations in and around this central Minnesota city. The city of St. Cloud fills its fleet of cars at the company's stations.

The program is open to anyone who drives off the street. Customers buy whatever amount they want at the current price _ the most ever purchased in advance was $400,000 worth _ then swipe a card and key in a PIN number when they draw from their reserve.

Chief executive Jim Feneis, who runs the company with his brother, Dan Feneis, said 300 of its members are still filling up with gas that cost them less than a buck a gallon as recently as 2002. Many more are locked in under $2.

"We're offering a pretty attractive concept to the savvy buyer," Feneis said.

Each station has a 50,000-gallon tank for each grade of gasoline - regular, mid-grade and premium - compared with 6,000 to 8,000 gallons for each product at a typical convenience store, Feneis said.

That's enough capacity to handle short-and medium-term demand, he said. For people holding onto reserves for a year or longer, the company hedges its obligations by buying gasoline futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
I have an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one.
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