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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Price changes on the way for Thursday
Distillate demand drops, gasoline increases

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, February 10, 2009- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will, once again, experience a drop in distillate prices while gasoline is projected to see a small increase at the pumps this coming Thursday, that’s according to George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

Heating, stove oils and diesel to drop
“All the numbers are in and, by all appearances, those fuels connected with the distillate group, namely diesel, heating and stove oils, all will experience drops in pricing. Diesel fuel is projected to drop by 3.0 cents per litre while stove oils are projected to fall close to the same amount, 2.95 cents a litre. The stove oil number may be the harbinger of things to come with heating oils as well as jet fuel demand is also being impacted on the world markets so, that number for heating oils may in fact be slightly more than what we have for stove oils”, said Murphy.

Gasoline prices up slightly
“In the meantime, gasoline is expected to increase slightly by 3.3 cents per litre. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen the oil industry talking about the possibility of a refiner strike that could affect upwards of 30 thousand workers directly. We’ve also seen a slight drop in the builds of inventories in recent weeks. Even though the number shows very modest increases in inventory, the fact is that refiners are concentrating more on distillate output rather than gasoline and that has helped to support prices. Refined product supplied to the markets is down almost three per cent from last years numbers. Gasoline demand is a bare ½ a percentage point below last year for the same time frame as a result. Even though gasoline production rose slightly against the week previous, refiner capacity is still well below peak production rates, measuring just over 83 per cent.

Crude message in oil
“Crude oil supplies have increased in recent weeks, just one reason why we’ve seen the price of raw crude drop. There’s plenty of it out there and it seems that OPEC cuts have not impacted supply greatly. From the look of things, I believe that the economy is being hit harder than we think. This may be true evidence of the smack we are about to take economically and real troublesome signs of how deep the recession is going to be. We are now into the March contracts for delivery and we haven’t seen the affects of OPEC cuts as of yet. The question is, will we?

Residual fuels and Marine Atlantic
Residual fuel oil, a type of fuel used for marine applications, prices have reached March of 2005 levels and have been experiencing some form of steady pricing in the markets. This should be enough time now for Marine Atlantic to announce its next moves on the remaining nine per cent fuel surcharge that was put on for crossings made by the shipping line. These fuel surcharges were placed in 2008 and previously in 2007 when the fuel price was high and not at 2005 levels. It’s now time for Marine Atlantic to deal with the remainder of the fuel surcharges on crossings of the Gulf. It is also time for the federal government to step in and absorb any future increases in fuel costs that add an artificial inflation rate to goods coming into Newfoundland and Labrador. The people of the province were told through the media by Marine Atlantic officials that the remainder of the fuel surcharge would be dealt with in January. They’re late with it.


For more information, contact;

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

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