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

Mixed bag of weather ahead for Chilliwack

Week starts off with rain before clearing for sunnier days midweek

Watercolours by late Chilliwack artist to be unveiled at Yarrow Library

The public is invited to a special unveiling of three of Heinz Klassen’s watercolour paintings

Yarrow Library one of the stops on Cubetto’s grand tour

FVRL’s friendly wooden robot, Cubetto, travels throughout Fraser Valley to teach programming basics

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read