Expect a turbulent year ahead in gas prices across Canada. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Drivers can expect a wild ride at the pumps for 2019: analyst

Vancouver expected to displace Montreal as the highest taxed jurisdiction on fuel in North America

Motorists can expect a year of volatility at the pumps this year as world markets move sharply in varying directions for the foreseeable future, predicts one analyst.

“Canadian drivers should expect a bumpy ride at the pumps in 2019 with markets fluctuating wildly given the uncertainty over the economy as a whole and energy markets being driven by a news headline sensitive stock market,” said Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

At the outset of 2018, GasBuddy accurately predicted a year that would see pump prices reach their highest annual average since 2014. Although the price to fill up dropped substantially in the final quarter of the year, average prices remained 13.9 cents a litre higher than 2018 at $1.242 per litre, the highest since 2014’s average of $1.263 per litre.

RELATED: Capital Region regular gas prices highest since 2008

RELATED: Gas prices jump 14 cents across Greater Victoria overnight

The expected turbulent year ahead follows the pattern of major price swings seen on both the equities and futures markets in the final weeks of 2018 as energy traders look global markets for clues of an economic rebound or continued slowdown in light stemming from concerns over a looming trade war between the U.S. and China trade, Brexit, the status of global crude supplies and overall demand for oil products. For Canada specifically, a weaker Loonie, which now stands 10 cents weaker than the U.S. greenback and Ottawa imposing a 5 cent per litre carbon tax on April 1 point to higher than usual pump prices for the spring and summer driving season as pipeline constraints and taxes continue to widen the spread between the price of oil and pump prices.

RELATED: Tax hikes across B.C. set for 2019

RELATED: Bills to grow bigger in 2019 for B.C. residents

“With carbon taxes set to begin or increase in 8 of 10 provinces, the average hike of 5 cents per litre by April 1, combined with a limping Loonie, will almost certainly force up the cost of filling your tank, just in time for the summer driving season and switchover to more expensive summer gasoline,” said McTeague. “The tax increases will be particularly noticeable in Vancouver which will displace Montreal as the highest taxed jurisdiction on fuel in North America.”

Although fuel prices are likely to reach 2018 levels and at times reach above seasonal highs, extra attention will need to be given to the ongoing premium of diesel prices, which are not expected to fall notably for several years. Overall, fuel prices in 2019 could well turn out to be more expensive than any year since 2014, helped in no small part by an increase in gas taxes and currency challenges.

GasBuddy.com shares crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘The face of Belmont’: Custodial staff at Langford school pivot to support parents, students

Staff serve as point of contact for parents, students with school

Sooke temporary homeless shelter packs up early

Occupants to leave facility by June 22

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

Government Street becomes pedestrian-priority corridor

One block of downtown street closed to cars entirely

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read