CALGARY — Gasoline costs across Canada are expected to keep smashing records despite a significant mid-week dip in the price of oil.
The average Canadian retail fuel price Thursday morning climbed to nearly $1.87 per litre, up from about $1.85 on Wednesday and $1.66 per lire last week, according to gasoline price tracking website GasBuddy.com.
The gains came in spite of the first significant pullback in crude prices since the war in Ukraine started and sent demand soaring. On Wednesday, the price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate closed at US$110.36, down nearly 11 per cent from the previous day’s trading.
WTI hovered around US$110 again mid-morning Thursday.
GasBuddy.com analyst Patrick de Haan said while Wednesday’s crude selloff is welcome news for drivers, retail prices at the pumps lag behind oil prices by several days.
That means, he said on Twitter, that gasoline prices will continue to rise in the immediate future.
“Stations haven’t fully passed the rise on, so it doesn’t mean lower prices yet, it means a slowdown in the increases,” de Haan said. “Stations won’t have to go up quite as much.”
Natural Resources Canada data shows the daily national average retail price for gasoline Wednesday was $1.87 per litre. In parts of B.C., including Vancouver, prices have topped $2 per litre this week.
Gasoline price forecasting site GasWizard.ca predicts Montreal and Quebec City will break the $2 per litre threshold Thursday, while many Ontario locations could see gas prices as high as $1.90 per litre.
Earlier this week, Alberta premier Jason Kenney said the province will take action on high energy prices by reducing its tax on gasoline.
He said the price at the pump for Alberta residents will drop by 13 cents per litre on April 1 for both gasoline and diesel.
While Alberta is the only province that has committed to such a move, other Canadian premiers have also been facing pressure to do something to help residents with the cost of gas.
In Saskatchewan, the Opposition NDP has called on the governing Saskatchewan Party to reduce the provincial gas tax.
Similar calls for action have been made in B.C., though Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said this week the province has no plans to follow Alberta’s lead, arguing gas prices are driven by global events outside of provincial control.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2022.
Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press