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Friday, October 31, 2008

Could it be? Gas under a buck a litre?
Stay tuned next week for news on this one. As incredible as it sounds, numbers are already showing a drop in gasoline that could bring gasoline under a buck a litre for CBS residents. Numbers are down by four cents already after today's trading.
Numbers are also showing diesel and heating/stove oils to drop next week as well as oil continues to bobble around the $65 a barrel mark and the Canadian dollar continues to gain some lost momentum from the past two weeks losses.
Stay tuned...More on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Numbers show no interruption this week...
After such a round of price drops, I was getting a little too used to informing everyone that pricing would be coming down again and, I just knew it all had to come to an end sometime. It's not overwith yet but, it is going to take a little loger to see the price come down this time.
While numbers do not show an allowable for the interrupter formula to kick in, they are still down slightly enough that we might see a drop in pricing coming for next Thursday now at best.
With the latest round of OPEC cuts (yes, they did a 1.5 million cut as predicted here) I expected market reaction to be delayed on the news and to see that cut play itself out in the markets after the first couple of days. Seems we've stalled at falling oil pricing and traders are getting a little "reluctant" in getting oil below $60 US a barrel. No doubt the province here, at least the finance department, will be drawing a sigh of collective relief on the sudden "stall in the fall" of oil pricing as well.
Anyways, numbers here so far are showing at least 3.3 down on gasoline, 1.55 down on heating and stove oils and 2.6 down on diesel. I guess we'll hold out some hope that we'll see the slide in oil continue but, from the look of things we just might have seen the price of oil and their related refined commodities stall for now. The proof of that probably lies in the fact that the drops in price are small right now.
**Just to note: The Canadian dollar has now lost a good 24 cents against it's US counterpart since September 28th and that has cost Canadian taxpayers a rough 23.5 cents a litre, give or take a few tenths of a cent. That's what we get for being tied into being a "petro-dollar" and not having a diversified economy like we should have...
Oh my...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Might be the end of the line for now
Consumers in NL will see another drop in pricing this Thursday

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, October 21, 2008- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador should see another drop in pricing on most fuel products this coming Thursday, that’s according to George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Numbers are showing at least 3.4 cents a litre down on heating and stove oils, 3.7 cents a litre down on gasoline and 4.7 cents a litre down on diesel fuel. The drop we are seeing has been mitigated somewhat by a falling Canadian dollar. Had the dollar been rated at the same rate we were looking at on September 29th, we’d be looking at pricing that would have been eleven cents less than what we’ll see on Thursday. An unsupported dollar is costing the consumer quite a lot of money and will come back to hit users of heating fuels especially hard,” said Murphy.

“Substantial builds in gasoline and crude oil inventories have helped dropped the price of oil. Match those numbers with the prospects of a recession and we have the formula for dropping prices. The unknown variable of OPEC cuts are, however, raising its ugly head and I expect to see OPEC make production cuts in the area of 1.5 million barrels a day later this week, well ahead of their regular meeting of December 17th. If they cut less than that, I expect prices to keep dropping. Any more and that will help to temporarily support pricing of crude and their related refined commodities. All hinges on OPEC’s emergency meeting later this week.”


For more information, contact;

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

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another drop in prices coming, but...
From the look of things here in the nest in CBS, it certainly looks like we'll be looking at another round of drops at the pumps when the Petroleum Pricing Office sets prices again at the regular interval.
So far, five days of data are showing diesel to drop by 5.6 a litre, gasoline down by 4.5 and heating/stove oils to drop by an important 4.53 cents a litre.
I'll be cautious on this one. OPEC is meeting in the wings of the latest round of price drops to come and I expect them to make substantial cuts to production. Maret-watchers are looking at OPEC to cut production by a million barrels per day. I'm betting on them cutting 1.5 million as they've already cut some production. Iran has already reduced daily output to 3.7 million from 4.3 a day and Saudi Arabia has also reduced ahead of this so-called "emergency meeting".
While not necessarily true that any cuts would help to stabilize the price of oil somewhat, they are facing the prospect of a larger worldwide economic recession and they want to prevent any kind of a glut that could help crash the pricing of oil to them.
Expect an OPEC announcement as early as Tuesday on future cuts. If that's the case, it might be the last of the price drops we'll see barring any real collapse in the North American or European economy.
Why am I crossing my fingers?...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another break to consumers on the way
Numbers show interruption to pricing this Thursday

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, October 13, 2008- Consumers can expect to see the benefits of the last weeks crash in oil prices again this week as the Petroleum Pricing Office will be forced to use the interruption formula to bring down pricing, that’s from George Murphy, group researcher and member of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Six days out of seven days data are showing good drops coming to diesel, heating and stove oils and gasoline. Diesel is expected to drop by 6.1 cents a litre, heating and stove oils by 6.65 and gasoline by 7.7 cents a litre this coming Thursday morning. Keep in mind that there may be slight changes to these numbers as there is still one more day to account for.

“The near collapse of the markets and the resounding drop in oil prices last week that bordered on the dramatic are chief reasons why pricing will have to be adjusted down. The numbers would have been substantially more except for the Canadian dollar losing almost 16 cents value against its US counterpart. In effect, consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador should be paying close to nine cents a litre less for gasoline than the new posted price this Thursday as a result of the loss of value in the Canadian dollar since September 29th. Heating and stove oil users would be looking at prices eight cents a litre less for the same reason. It goes to show that Canada is a little too dependent upon its natural resources for export rather than secondary processing. The dollar is weak compared to the troubled US currency and that says a lot.”

Update: heating and stove now shows 6.98 down, gasoline down by 7.7 and diesel down by 6.6 a litre. That's with seven days data. There will be interruption...At least, according to my numbers...

For more information, contact;

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

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To keep you up to speed...
Just to keep you all up to date on what's going on with prices...
Hold off on everything.
Heating and stove oils are showing seven cents a litre down, Gasoline is down by 8 and diesel is showing 5.8 cents a litre down as well.
With two more days to become a reality, I would expect that all fuels will fall under the guise of the confines of the interrupter formula and all pricing should be down AT LEAST that much as of Thursday.
I'll be cautious though, as there are still two more days data to get yet.
Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

2008-09 Could be another expensive winter
Heating oil costs expected to meet or beat last year’s numbers

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, October 9, 2008- Consumers in Eastern Canada can expect to pay the same price as last year for heating oil product and they have a good chance of setting new records for the fuel, that’s from George Murphy, group researcher and member of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

What we may see this winter
“Consumers are facing an uphill struggle again this winter as several factors have played into the marketplace to work against the cost of heating and stove oils. As of today, we are presently 16 cents a litre higher than where we were last year and we are also facing a lower Canadian dollar. That in itself has cost the Canadian consumer an added six cents a litre this past week and is going to be hard to overcome,” said Murphy. “If these numbers hold up and nothing else changes and we see the same rate of increase as last year, we have a good chance of the consumer paying upwards of $1.38 a litre for heating oils this winter if I pare that with last years record of $1.22 a litre. That, I caution, is a number based on the actualities I see now and not the actual that may occur if consumers are faced with other outside issues or circumstances. Pricing may be mitigated somewhat simply because consumers won’t be able to afford the product in the first place.”

The “If Factors”
“We do have some conditions in the markets that may change the playing field and they remain a lot of what I call the “If Factor”. Refiner capacity, for example, remains at a historic low and this has affected the building of heating and stove oil inventories. They simply did not increase during the off-use season. OPEC is trying to put together an emergency meeting to discuss possible production cuts in an effort to help sustain pricing. If they cut production in the face of economic slowdown, then we can expect pricing to be supported. There are, of course, other geo-political conditions I don't need to touch on here.

Changing conditions
“Consumers can see the opposite happen if recession hits. Again, prices have a slight possibility of decline if the use of distillate fuels drop because of the economic downturn but that has also to be matched by an increase in refiner capacity and gains in inventory status in the United States. Again, if a slowdown does occur, industries who use number two oils will not need it and distillates may increase because of less tractor trailer use.

Impact of jet fuels on the winter heating mix
“While our winter heating mix contains 75 per cent jet fuel to #2 mix and, as of today those prices remain strong being almost a nickel a litre higher in value against last years numbers. I would have hoped that the drop in airline usage would have impacted that, but to no avail. Again, we have to see increases in inventories to impact the price and that simply isn’t happening.

Consumers and governments face the reality
“Consumers will have to take a long, hard look at the type of heating system they use at their homes. Heating oil usage has been measured at a historic low in the United States and has declined in use to only 7 per cent of the northeast population, the majority of the population of which have already made the switch back to either natural gas or electricity. It may be costly to do so but, there may be some worth in the consumer investigating the switch and cost-effectiveness of such a conversion. It may simply be a case of where heating and stove oils have become redundant means of heating even though there is still a consumer need.

“Government is looking at the rebate program in Newfoundland and Labrador but there has been no word yet on the program or what it entails. To add to that, the federal government needs to actively pursue their involvement in the rebate program on a national basis as they are chief beneficiaries to any taxes collected on heat. While a conversion to other forms of heating is expensive to consumers, government may also be forced to look at helping out consumers with the costs of conversion along with possible home retrofit-type programs to help consumers save.”


For more information, contact;

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

Monday, October 06, 2008

Financial crisis deepens, recession fears grow
Prices for petroleum products to drop on Thursday

Media release

Conception bay South, NL, October 6, 2008- The price for oil continues to drop in concert with the ongoing financial crisis worldwide and that will result in some pricing relief to consumers this week, that’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“While there is a strategic withdrawal from the commodities markets, traders have also been pulling out of the oil markets and that means a drop in the value of crude oil and its related refined products. Thirteen days data out of fourteen are now showing that gasoline pricing will drop by close to six cents a litre on midnight Wednesday,” said Murphy.

“Heating and stove oils are projected to drop by close on 2.2 cents per litre while, diesel pricing is forecast to drop by 1.7 cents per litre. I expect that, in the next couple of weeks, if the economic slowdown really kicks in, then diesel users will start to see some more solid drops, more substantial that we have been seeing as of late. As heating and stove oils are also part of the same distillate group of fuels, we’re hopeful that this may carry over to bring further relief to heating oil users.

“We have noticed that the Canadian dollar has lost a lot of ground against the US greenback in recent days, losing something in the order of seven cents against what it was two weeks ago. That alone has cost the consumer at least a nickel against the drop we are seeing. We should be looking at eleven cents down at the pumps. The drop in the dollar has also cost Canadian consumers as much, if not more, and we have no recognition that we have a problem with the Canadian economy. We’re told that the economic fundamentals are strong. We have the proof here that they are not. Some leaders really need to get their head out of the sand.

“We know that there still should be an ongoing concern that OPEC will step in and start to support the price of oil. I would be deeply concerned with winter heating oil pricing if there are a round of cuts. Any support of oil pricing at this juncture now means trouble for the Canadian consumer with the dollar slipping as it is.

“The real news this week in oil doesn’t come from the facts of Nigerian violence or ongoing promises of supply disruptions. Nor does it come from the fact that inventories of gasoline and crude oil improved. It comes from the fact that traders artificially inflated the price of oil in the first place and now, with the collapse of the financial markets and the promise of recession coming from the major Canadian banks, everyone is going to get burned. We may be seeing some price relief but it is far under what the markets should be really doing here. The failure to support the Canadian dollar at this time of crisis is the recognition that Canada is too reliant on one industry, that being oil.”


UPDATE: All data in now shows 2.43 down on heating/stove oils, 2.0 down on diesel and 6.3 down on gasoline, all by the litre of course!

For more information, contact;

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

Friday, October 03, 2008

Changes coming to the update...
Starting this next week, a lot of viewers and readers will be noticing some changes to the update that I do on a regular basis and I figure that i would alert you to one major change that is coming over the next couple of weeks.
Users of diesel fuels will be of particluar interest as I believe that I can come out with accurate numbers to reflect changes to diesel pricing.
Fisherpersons and truckers take note...
Starting this week I will begin to make predictions on the movement of diesel pricing as new information and sources have recently come to light. It might take a week or two to develope the base price for the product but, a random sampling shows that the model I have been working on may be the cat's meow.
The update will now include three fuels, gasoline, heating oil (#2) and diesel fuels.
Look for those pricing changes in the next update.
In the meantime, gasoline still shows a drop coming (-3.7/Litre) this next week along with slight downwards moves for heating oils (-.10/Litre).
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

While other markets saw a substantial drop in pricing the day before yesterday, the rbound in the markets saw some pricing rise again...
Such was the case with the numbers on this end as well.
From the looks of things, we're going to have to wait another week before we seeanything drop at the pumps. The precipitous drop in the markets didn't last as I thought it would have and gasoline traded upwards again. That was enough to put the kaibash on any decrease we could have seen. Numbers were initially projected to range 4.5 to 5 cent a litre but then yesterdays market numbers changed that to closer to three cents.
That means no drop coming for diesels either and that stinks...
You need four cents before interrupt would happen to pricing...
Oh well...
Hopefully the markets will wake up and crash again before then and we'll see something more substantial for next week...