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

Canadian 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

Just Posted

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Mining company prospecting for gold near Bella Coola

Gold discovered in alpine areas where glaciers are receding

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read