Reader wonders why fuel prices go up quickly, don’t come down as fast

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ANSWER: Your question is too vague. There are many variables to be taken into account. Are you talking about gasoline at the pump? Heating oil delivered? Both? In general, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration: “In the petroleum industry, like most others, the majority of all products sold changes hands a number of times on its way from the point of production (a refinery) to the point of ultimate consumption. Since each participant in this supply/marketing chain incurs some cost and wishes to make a profit, the price normally increases with each sale.

“As such, any change in price at the refinery, or any intermediate point of sale downstream, should be expected to affect prices at each successive sale. The manner in which prices are passed through the various levels of petroleum markets is not uniform. While successive sellers of a product presumably act to cover their costs and make a profit, sellers vary greatly in their pricing behavior, such as reaction to competitors’ price changes and attempts to protect or increase market share.

“Additionally, as prices rise and fall, some marketers reportedly reprice product for sale according to the cost of their most recent purchase, while others will anticipate the cost of their next purchase. A further complication is that not all product sold goes through the same levels of resale. Some product is sold directly by the refiner at its own company-operated retail outlets, while other fuels go through a succession of resales by any combination of traders, jobbers, lessee dealers, or independent marketers.”

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Thank you for your wonderfully helpful service. Within the last two months, I think, you printed information on a local service for chair caning. I missed it as I subscribe to the Sun Journal on Thursday to Sunday. Could you please send that firm’s name, address and telephone number to me on the enclosed post card? Thank you. — C.B. via mail.

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ANSWER: Sun Spots did as you requested and replied on the stamped, self-addressed post card you included. Sun Spots has answered this question occasionally over the years and recently reached out to the people/businesses listed in an earlier column to see if they are still available to do chair caning. All said yes; here are three sources:

Bix Furniture Strippers, 357 Main St., Auburn, 207-783-3459, ask for Tom.

Pam Lanyon, Turner, 207-225-3174, CaningbyPam@gmail.com.

Georgia Tolman, New Sharon, 207-578-0348, ssrelacing@localnet.com.

For those seeking upholsterers, Decorating Plus submitted their contact information: dpi@decoratingplus.net or 207-754-0730.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to sunspots@sunjournal.com, tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.

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