Gasoline prices in all parts of the country this week toppled all-time record highs, just as Canadians took to the highway for Thanksgiving weekend.
Data from Natural Resources Canada, which tracks fuel prices nationwide, show that the weighted average national retail price of regular gasoline in Canada reached $ 1.45 this week. That’s more than 40 cents year-on-year and the highest weekly average price, reports fuel pricing consulting firm Calibrate, which has data until 2007.
“” We haven’t seen this in history, to be honest, “said Vijay Muralidharan, Calgary-based consulting director at Kalibrate, formerly Kent Group Ltd. As far as I can remember, we haven’t seen those prices yet. “
The price consumers pay at the pump varies by region, depending on local market conditions and regional taxes. In Vancouver, for example, gasoline prices were higher this summer than they are now, surprising $ 1.73 a liter on Canada Day.
The price increase that is happening now is unprecedented in scale, as drivers in parts of Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Greater Toronto saw record high prices this week, according to the fuel price monitoring website GasBuddy.com.
Some markets have even experienced double-digit price increases from week to week. According to Natural Resources Canada, drivers in the Manitoba cities of Brandon and Winnipeg, for example, have increased the price of a pump by more than 11 cents a liter in the last week alone.
Most profits are driven by the price of crude oil, which is at its highest level in seven years due to increased demand worldwide due to easing pandemic restrictions and growing economic activity, Muralidharan said.
“Last year, we hit rock bottom in terms of gasoline prices and crude oil prices. Since then, crude oil prices have jumped to new highs, which has spilled over into high gasoline prices,” he said.
Muralidharan said gasoline prices rose during the peak driving season during the summer, which is normal and expected. What is unusual now is that autumn prices are so high. Muralidharan said refineries and retailers have not yet cut margins since the summer peak because demand is still so strong, especially in the US
“The driving season usually ends in September, but it’s still going strong. And what’s happening in the U.S. is affecting us,” he said.
The retail price at the pump also reflects the impact of the federal price on carbon, which is expected to rise from $ 20 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019 to $ 50 per tonne in 2022. Currently, the impact of carbon prices on petrol is eight cents per liter. will rise to 11 cents per liter in 2022.
Muralidharan said gasoline prices tend to fall by winter, but there are many unknowns this year related to the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the outcome of the Canada-US dispute over MIchigan attempts to shut down Enbridge Inc. pipelines. Line 5. The pipeline provides nearly half of the fuel supply in Ontario and Quebec, but Michigan has tried to shut it down, citing a risk of spillage.
“Demand for (petrol) is usually declining after October, history has told us. If this is true, we will notice some deviation in prices,” Muralidharan said. “But there is so much uncertainty this year that we don’t know if those prices will be maintained.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 7, 2021.