CALGARY — Canadians celebrating the onset of summer driving season have been dismayed by another spring phenomenon — rising gasoline prices across the country.
According to GasBuddy.com, the average price of regular gasoline in Canada at noon on Monday was about $1.33 per litre, up 22 cents from the average of $1.11 per litre at the same time last year.
The record high for the same day was just over $1.37 set in 2014.
GasBuddy pegged average Vancouver prices at over $1.58 per litre, up 28 cents from last April 30.
Canadian fuel market analyst Michael Ervin, senior vice-president at the Kent Group Ltd., says he doesn’t expect prices to rise much more than they already have this summer — but he doesn’t see any relief either until demand slows in the fall.
He says Vancouver-area prices are higher than most other regions in Canada, but he doesn’t think the difference is higher than normal. He says an average wholesale price in Vancouver (not including tax and retail markup) is about 98 cents a litre, about 10 cents higher than in Winnipeg.
Ervin says North American wholesale gasoline prices have jumped dramatically this year because refineries in Canada and the United States are going full out, in part because of growing exports of refined products from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Mexico and South America.
The benchmark price of U.S. crude oil has been on a mostly steady incline since last June and last week hit US$68.64 per barrel, the highest since December 2014.
The U.S. daily national average for regular gasoline is US$2.81 per gallon, up from about US$2.39 per gallon a year ago, according to Oil Price Information Service.
“This will be the most expensive driving season since 2014,” said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for Oil Price Information Service.
The Canadian Press