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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Hold off at the pumps!
Numbers show prices will drop Thursday morning
News release

Paradise, NL, July 24, 2007- OPEC is talking about increasing production and gasoline spot prices have continued to drop over the last week. This means a possible break at the pumps to consumers this coming Thursday, according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

Expect a drop
“My numbers are showing that for six days out of seven needed for the interrupter formula to kick in so far; pricing is forecast to drop by 4.2 cents per litre on gasoline inclusive of taxes. No drop to other fuels is expected according to my records. To use the interrupter formula to increase or lower prices, we need to see a movement of four cents either way in the markets over seven days, not inclusive of taxes. My numbers show a 3.7 cent a litre drop and that’s within my margin of error of 3/10ths of a cent so, I’m calling the shot on this one. It’s the break to consumers that we’ve been expecting and initially told of last week when pricing was last adjusted. Tuesday’s trading day remains key if we are to see that drop but, gasoline is again trading down today. Expect a break Thursday morning. If it doesn’t, it’s a certainty that we’ll see a drop in prices next wee,” said Murphy.

Refineries pick up output
“Refiner capacity is showing increased growth and inventories are substantial enough now that, at this juncture of the driving season, concerns should be coming off that fuel and its consumption level. Forecasters of this weeks inventory report expect an increase in refiner capacity and that means more product out there on the markets. If that happens, the drops may keep coming barring any unforeseen circumstance like terrorism or hurricanes. I believe that last week was also key when we passed the half-way point of the summer driving season and there wasn’t a huge impact on overall gasoline inventory.

OPEC to pick up production?
“OPEC has expressed some concern over the high price of crude recently and that has sparked a slight sell-off in the markets as traders look at a possible OPEC production increase. That should bring some relief to heating oil users as the heavy oils that OPEC sells the most of, is directly linked to the heavier type fuels like jet, heating and stove oils. If they increase output, then we may see some upwards pressure taken off those fuels. We still haven’t seen those prices drop as we did in other summer seasons. OPEC members will meet, ironically, September 11th in Vienna, Austria.

Hurricane Syndrome remains a factor
Still lurking in the markets is the simple fact that we have gone almost halfway through the Atlantic hurricane season and we still have no hurricanes in our midst. Memories linger with all consumers when prices hit their epoch on Canada and elsewhere as almost 10 per cent of United States production and refining was affected. Traders will no doubt wing prices higher to consumers if hurricanes are forecast to hit any coastal region where production may be affected. While pricing will be pointing down in the next little while as driving season wanes, expect those same traders to use “Hurricane Syndrome” as an excuse to increase pricing at the pumps at anytime.”



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For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Crossing the threshold
Gasoline to drop slightly as mid-summer passes


News release

Paradise, NL, July 17, 2007- Gasoline prices are set to drop slightly this coming Thursday as market trading showed slight decreases in spot pricing for the past two weeks, that’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

Coming drops in pricing
“After 13 days out of a possible 14 days recorded, numbers are showing that gasoline should drop by 8/10ths of a cent per litre. Stove and heating oils are showing only a minimal change of 34/100ths downwards and that should be a concern as distillate demand remains strong ahead of winter, particularly for diesel. We’ve hit the balancing point in the markets where, I believe that traders will soon change focus on what fuel is going to be more valuable at the end of the driving season. My belief is that the focus will turn to the distillates shortly,” said Murphy.

Market traders deserve scrutiny
“Looks like we’ve hit mid-summer and surely to God, the market traders south of the border have to realize that fact. The focus has to come off gasoline as the summer driving season wanes. We haven’t seen further degrading of gasoline inventories and any drawdown shouldn’t adversely affect the rest of the driving season. If the markets don’t tune to this fact shortly, then consumers should be upset and the governments that look after us should be as well.

Pricing to moderate some
“We dodged a very big bullet this time around on pricing. While we did see a new record with gasoline pricing, I believe that there has to be a turnaround happening shortly. The last two market trading days may be a signal of more to come as regards to a downwards trend but there are still some important factors that remain for consumers to contend with.
Iran and its pursuit of a nuclear program against the threats of United Nations sanctioning, Nigeria, and the ongoing situation in Iraq still remain as key factors.
Also in the wings is a threat of a production interruption in oil fields in the North Sea that hit Brent crudes hard this week.

Hurricane threat remains
“Still to play out in the markets this summer however, is what I like to call “Hurricane Syndrome”. That’s where the markets have the tendency to “panic” when they see a storm brewing a thousand miles away from unloading and processing facilities. No doubt the consumers’ interests will be tested by traders who stand to make a heavy dollar on that speculation.


We’re asking our governments to keep a watchful eye to the markets while hurricane season is upon us and get proof of the rip-off the consumers have to contend with at this time of the year. We’re not out of the woods there but concerns over available inventory to carry consumers through the heavy summer driving season should be dissipating and be reflected in pricing to the consumer.


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Note: When I sent this one out, I didn't have the pivotal fourteenth day. With that day included, gasoline now shows a drop of somewhere around 1.3 a litre while stove and heating will drop by 49/100ths of a cent.
From the looks of the markets, if this down trend continues, expect to see early interruption next week. Numbers traded down almost 5.4 cents a litre not including taxes for yesterday, July 17th.
Here's hoping!...


For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/MemberConsumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
Crossing the threshold
Gasoline to drop slightly as mid-summer passes

News release

Paradise, NL, July 17, 2007- Gasoline prices are set to drop slightly this coming Thursday as market trading showed slight decreases in spot pricing for the past two weeks, that’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

Coming drops in pricing
“After 13 days out of a possible 14 days recorded, numbers are showing that gasoline should drop by 8/10ths of a cent per litre. Stove and heating oils are showing only a minimal change of 34/100ths downwards and that should be a concern as distillate demand remains strong ahead of winter, particularly for diesel. We’ve hit the balancing point in the markets where, I believe that traders will soon change focus on what fuel is going to be more valuable at the end of the driving season. My belief is that the focus will turn to the distillates shortly,” said Murphy.

Market traders deserve scrutiny
“Looks like we’ve hit mid-summer and surely to God, the market traders south of the border have to realize that fact. The focus has to come off gasoline as the summer driving season wanes. We haven’t seen further degrading of gasoline inventories and any drawdown shouldn’t adversely affect the rest of the driving season. If the markets don’t tune to this fact shortly, then consumers should be upset and the governments that look after us should be as well.

Pricing to moderate some
“We dodged a very big bullet this time around on pricing. While we did see a new record with gasoline pricing, I believe that there has to be a turnaround happening shortly. The last two market trading days may be a signal of more to come as regards to a downwards trend but there are still some important factors that remain for consumers to contend with.
Iran and its pursuit of a nuclear program against the threats of United Nations sanctioning, Nigeria, and the ongoing situation in Iraq still remain as key factors.
Also in the wings is a threat of a production interruption in oil fields in the North Sea that hit Brent crudes hard this week.

Hurricane threat remains
“Still to play out in the markets this summer however, is what I like to call “Hurricane Syndrome”. That’s where the markets have the tendency to “panic” when they see a storm brewing a thousand miles away from unloading and processing facilities. No doubt the consumers’ interests will be tested by traders who stand to make a heavy dollar on that speculation.

We’re asking our governments to keep a watchful eye to the markets while hurricane season is upon us and get proof of the rip-off the consumers have to contend with at this time of the year. We’re not out of the woods there but concerns over available inventory to carry consumers through the heavy summer driving season should be dissipating and be reflected in pricing to the consumer.


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For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More increases on the way
Gasoline, stove and heating oil pricing to increase Thursday


News release

Paradise, NL, July 3, 2007- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will get tagged with another round of increases this week as demand for gasoline and diesel fuels pick up for the summer driving season.

“Consumers can expect to see an added 2.2 cents per litre on gasoline and an added 2.92 cents per litre on stove and heating oils. That’s with 13 days out of a possible 14 days to report from. I don’t expect too much change from those numbers after today’s market trading,” said George Murphy, group researcher and member of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“A drop in gasoline inventories along with a drop in refiner capacity has complicated the pricing problem, but what was totally unexpected is the fact that stove and heating oil users will be looking at a considerable increase at the pumps this week. This is the time of year when we see those expected builds in distillate inventories. Last weeks numbers from the Energy Information Administration in the United States showed a considerable drawdown on stocks.

“We’re roughly at a level we were last year on both fuels. My records indicate that the next two weeks will be critical in seeing pricing stay at its present level. Last year saw a rapid increase in spot pricing of gasoline immediately following the July 1st and July 4th celebrations in Canada and the United States. That’s when the heat comes on gasoline spots and people start vacations. If we hear of increases in refinery capacity and its associated pickup in production of gasoline, we could dodge another increase, but right now that’s up in the air. We’ve already hit that range of $1.22 to $1.31 a litre and we could easily hit it again.”

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For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices