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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Damned if you do...
Numbers showing down, but ...
In this case, it's just the opposite.
We were on track for a possible bout of 'interruption in pricing' particularly to gasoline pricing until yesterday's market trading and the fall in the U.S dollar agin steps in.
A sudden interest in the stock markets and interest in commodities as the US dollar started falling again, led to yesterday's increase in oil pricing and its related, refined commodities so, from the looks of things, there won't be interruption afterall. Seems that traders will try to take advantage of any situation in the news to try to recoup their losses. In this case, it's a combination of another massive US bailout of the banks and Barack Obama's appointment of his economic team as well that has met with some approval.
Some numbers are still showing "down" however, so, that's the good part. Gasoline and heating oils are still showing that trend for next week.
Either way you look at it, the guys and girls in the provinces' finance department must have breathed a collective sigh when prices increased today...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Consumers to see more breaks for petroleum products
Prices continue to slide, but…

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, November 18, 2008 - Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be seeing more breaks on pricing of petroleum products this week when pricing is set this Thursday but there should be more savings than what we are seeing at the pumps, that’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Consumers should see another 4.0 to 4.2 cents per litre down on gasoline for the immediate St. John’s area. That will translate to a price of .89 cents a litre for the residents of Conception Bay South. Heating and stove oils are projected to drop by as much as 4.58 cents per litre and diesel fuels will drop close to 4.0 cents per litre this Thursday at midnight when pricing is adjusted by the provinces’ Public Utilities Board Petroleum Pricing Office.

Fuel surcharges should be dropping
“Mariner Atlantic instituted a round of fuel surcharges on passenger and auto traffic last June 12, 2008 on top of a 2 per cent fuel surcharge that was added in June of 2007. The numbers for residual oils are now 32 per cent of what they were back in March, 2008 when they hit their peak. It was in June of 2008 that we saw the additional 27.7 per cent fuel surcharge added based on those numbers. Residual oils reached a peak of $2.73 a US gallon but have since backed down to a rough 88 cents a US gallon. Why are we still paying the surcharge? This is adding to the hardship consumers and business is having in a hard economic time. It is time for Marine Atlantic to return pricing back to the June ’07 level as numbers have decreased to that point.

“As for the airlines, we have seen the price of jet fuel return to August ‘05 levels yet, we haven’t seen a substantial drop in the fuel surcharge on airline ticket fares. When are the airlines going to remove the surcharges they implemented and return ticket pricing back to ’05 levels? This is amounting to a huge financial rip-off to the consumer and business person who requires airline transportation. The airlines along with Marine Atlantic should immediately drop some of the fuel surcharges before the busy Christmas travel season. All these fuel surcharges at this minute add to an artificial inflation rate on consumers in the province and, indeed, to the rest of Canada.

OPEC’s next move
“OPEC is set to meet again at the end of November and I expect another attempt at reducing output by the group. The next regular meeting of the group is set for December 17, 2008 so, this meeting is bringing in the usual concerns of an oversupply in the markets. Consumers should not be surprised to see the group attempt to regain control of world oil supply and, I also predict another cut of close to 750,000 barrels of production.”


For more information, contact;

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

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More drops in pricing on the way
Just to keep you up to date.
With two more days of data to attain, numbers are so far showing more drops to gasoline pricing as well as heating/stove oils and diesel fuels.
Numbers are showing a drop of almost four cents on stove and close to three cents on diesel. The stove oil numbers could be a good indicator of where heating oils will go. Once again, the heating oil mix includes a combination of 75% Jet and 25% number 2 just for the winter heating season and I have not been able to track down an accurate jet fuel number so, this number is more to be used as a rough guide as to the direction heating fuel will be going.
Gasoline is showing almost 3.5 down...
We'll let you all know again about what will come about around 9:30pm this Tuesday night when I'll have all the numbers in....
I'll be in touch...
As of Monday evening, I'm now showing definite drops across the board for all fuels.Gasoline shows 3.7 a litre down,heating/stove oils are 4.32 down and diesel down by 3.1 a litre.
I'll give the final numbers Tuesday night, around 9:30p.m......

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Consumers to get another break at the pumps
Numbers show interruption to gasoline

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, November 11, 2008- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador should see another break at the pumps this coming Thursday that should bring prices under a buck a litre in most areas of the province, that’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas prices.

“Oil has continued to trade down and that has also been reflected in lower commodity prices, especially for gasoline in the face of weakening demand for the product. Continuing bad economic news and good inventory builds has played into the numbers and that means that gasoline consumers should see a drop of approximately 4.7 cents a litre at the pumps this Thursday morning, if the numbers are right.

“Stove oils and diesels continue to show drops of almost 3.0 and 3.6 cents a litre respectively but it is harder to predict the heating oil numbers with the advent of the winter heating oil mix. A drop is possible there though, in the light of the drops in the market. Consumers should take a ‘wait and see’ approach and gear their purchases after this Thursday accordingly.

“It’s been well over two years since the last time consumers have seen 97 cents a litre in the immediate St. John’s area and it should come as welcome news, should it come to be realized. Just because we are going to see prices drop below a buck a litre doesn’t mean that consumers are good to buy as much as possible however. Consumers should still conserve as much as possible as any consumption can have the opposite effect and help to support pricing rather than see a continuing slide in prices.

OPEC cuts not deep enough?
“Look for OPEC to cut further into their self-imposed production cuts this coming December as oil prices have continued to slide. I expect OPEC to step in and further deepen their cuts by at least 750,000 barrels at their next meeting. That would probably be enough to support pricing at its current level amidst the latest round of bad economic news this past week. OPEC will attempt to put restraint on output and try to influence world pricing.

Government should extend wood pellet rebate program
‘While government has introduced a wood pellet stove rebate program, government should extend the program to include new and advanced technology woodstoves that have become more fuel efficient over the last ten years. Most wood stoves have been improved in recent years that burn wood fuel longer than previously. We also have a small wood supply industry here that is sustainable and we need to provide the incentive to consumers to improve their energy efficiency by providing funding for energy efficient wood stoves. Just because it may be a new industry doesn’t mean that it should be given “carte blanche’ to the wood fuel market. Competition helps to keep pricing down to the consumer and we need to see some of the older technology wood stoves removed to conserve on wood resources as well.


For more information, contact;

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

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Consumers to get a break at the pumps...again!

Hi to all...

Just a quickie as I'm probably going to be doing a cross-island jaunt west again as there has been a death in my family. I have not put together an official news release on this as time just simply won't forgive me.

Not all the data is in but, here's a synopsis of what to expect. I don't think there'll be much change in them between now and Wednesday night.

Numbers show 2.39 down on heating and stove oils (13 days out of 14 available), 6.1 down on gasoline (6 out of seven days available) and 4.2 down on diesel (13 days out of 14 available) for this Thursday morning.

Looks like CBS gets the honours of being first under a buck, eh?

Reasons why prices are dropping
1) A drop in world demand and poor world economic performance has resulted in a steep decline in the numbers in recent days and that will result in consumers receiving the benefits of that drop.

2) There has been some moderate recovery in the Canadian dollar and that has played into the numbers. Over the last week, the Canadian dollar has recovered almost nine cents against the US greenback.

3) I believe that the markets have recognised OPEC cuts of last week. While oil has bounced around $65 a barrel over the last two weeks now, their related, refined commodity has shown drops as a result of reduced world demand. Look for OPEC to make another cut of 500,000 barrels at it's next meeting of December 17th as it "pays attention" to the poor economic news and moves to support it's own revenue stream.

4) This might be the last drop in heating and stove oils and we have now reached the point they were for the same timeframe last year when we saw pricing start to rise. We're entering the higher winter demand period and that also means more upwards pricing pressure. I think I would top the tank off now to be sure. In the meantime, another sell-off in the markets might start to make pricing fall again so, take that piece of advice with a grain of salt

5) My gasoline average shows that there will be possible interruption in prices if market conditions allow for spot gasoline to maintain or further drop in value. If that doesn't happen, as interruptuion requires a four cent average move +/- from the last setting, then consumers can expect to see another drop in prices in two weeks time. My average right now is 48.66 a litre over last weeks range of numbers but yesterday, gasoline traded at 44.23 a litre, a 4.43 a litre difference.
I'll keep an eye and let you all know ahead of time.

Hope this short entry helps?...


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