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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Numbers show interruption to gasoline prices
No other fuels affected

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, September 29, 2009- The numbers are there for interruption to gasoline prices to occur, that’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Over the past week, there has been considerable downwards volatility in the markets and gasoline prices are showing a drop coming to consumers. We just don’t know if the Petroleum Pricing Office has those same figures. My numbers show a decrease coming at the pumps of at least 4.9 cents a litre and it could be more than that, if volatility has indeed been a missing factor in the numbers,” Murphy said.

“Heating, stove and diesel prices don’t have the same downwards trend as gasoline, although those numbers are also down slightly. Right now, heating and stove oils show 1.72 cents a litre down with diesel down better than 2.1 cents a litre, not enough on all three counts to warrant interruption to those fuels.

“A drop in demand with the end of the summer driving season coupled with a lack of confidence in any economic recovery resulted in oil prices dropping along with corresponding refined commodities. Inventories are bulging with product and it’s not likely to change in the coming weeks. There’s going to have to be a huge increase in consumer demand along with a drop in refinery capacity in order to impact gasoline inventories right now.”


For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member

Monday, September 28, 2009

Update #2

Gasoline still showing "Down"
With just one more day to go, gasoline is still showing an interrupt scenario for this coming Thursday morning.
So far, gasoline now shows down by 4.27 cents or almost 4.9 cents a litre including taxes.
Here's hoping oil trades relatively unchanged tomorrow!
Tune in tomorrow night for the final outcome. I'll have a release posted around eleven or so, if interruption is the case.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Early interruption coming?

First off...

This morning I got the emailer from this site with the predicted drops in pricing to come for Thursday...

Problem is, I never got it until today, a day later than the usual.

I'm guessing that it has to do with the service itself. Fact is, is that I did make that posting on Tuesday night, a full two days ahead of the auto emailer delivery.

I wonder when you'll get this one?

Anyway, just a short note here...

With oil dropping below $67 US a barrel today, I fully expect that when I get home from work later tonight, that I will find that gasoline prices on the New York mercantile exchange will have dropped so much so, that they would have entered into interruption territory. Wednesday's numbers put the average down by 3.2 cents a litre plus taxes but we need a four cent a litre average between Wednesday and Tuesday of next week.

In other words, go light on the gold stuff as we're probably going to see prices below a buck a litre this time next week...IF...the downwards trend in oil continues into Tuesday.

Look for another posting on that topic on Tuesday night if the numbers are there for it!

You might want to pass the word along as well....



Update #1

It's Saturday morning and I'm fresh in the door.

Just checked the latest numbers and they now show a drop of 4.24 cents a litre, not including taxes for gasoline. That puts it in the range needed for interruption.
It's all now going to come down to the next two business days.
Unbelievable, but Thursday morning may very well find us below a buck a litre again!

I'll keep you all updated!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prices should drop this Thursday
Winter heating forecast!

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, September 22, 2009- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador can expect to see a slight downwards adjustment to prices this coming Thursday. That’s when the Public Utilities Board moves to set prices again.

George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices expects to see numbers for all fuels to drop slightly in the wake of the fluctuation in oil prices and its related commodities over the last two weeks. “I expect heating and stove oils to drop by 97/100ths of a cent, diesel to drop by 1.2 cents a litre and gasoline to drop by two cents per litre. It may not be a lot but it does signify both stagnation in the increase in oil prices and a steadying out in oil’s refined commodities. Having said that, we also haven’t witnessed any appreciable increase in world demand and that has helped keep prices between $68 and $72 a barrel US.

Marine Atlantic to keep fuel surcharge in place?
“There has been no drop in marine type diesel fuels that would show in the consumer favour. I expect that Marine Atlantic will make no moves in reducing their fuel surcharge. As a matter of fact, residual fuel oil prices have increased in price since the last time the company placed fuel surcharges on Marine Atlantic rates so; it wouldn’t surprise me to see them act in placing an increase to rates this week coming when they look at the numbers for the last quarter.

Winter heating forecast is in
“Consumers can expect some consolation that we will not be seeing prices hit $1.20 a litre as we did a short time ago. This winter looks somewhat better than in 2007 as numbers are showing a projected November number of close to 70 cents per litre with stove oils reaching 72 cents. I expect winter heating oil prices to peak at close to 80 cents in February of 2010 before we see a decline with the advent of spring weather breaking in the US northeast. November of 2007 showed heating oils at 82.4 cents while stove oils hit 84 cents. It was early in 2008 that we were witness to the skyrocketing price of heating oil until the price of oil collapsed later in July of that year when oil prices hit $147 US a barrel. January 2008 heating oil prices hit almost $1.05 a litre as a result of demand on jet fuel along with a high jet fuel price.

Reasons for heating oil being a little cheaper this year
“There are several reasons why heating oil will be slightly cheaper this year. Chief among them are factors such as an elevated Canadian dollar that is helping to keep the price down, a drop in demand compared to 2007 and elevated inventories as compared to that year. That same year, we weren’t dealing with a faltering economy as we are now, so prices for any distillate group fuel was increased from 2006 and that showed at the fuel truck level. This year, for example with jet fuel, which is a component of the winter heating blend in the province, with demand down, I’m expecting to see a slight retreat in the heating oil price overall when the PUB sets prices the first week of November when jet fuel enters the mix.

“Crude oil and distillate inventories are higher than normal for this time of the year. Usually, we see some tightness in inventories but distillates, for example, are almost 40 million barrels more than what they were for the same time frame last year. There’s going to have to be some heavy economic activity happen or an increase in demand if Big Oil is hoping on increasing the price of some distillate product.

“Market conditions could change things, but barring any unforeseen circumstances like a drop in the dollar, an increase in oil prices spurred on by an improving economy, the possibility of OPEC cuts or a slack demand for the product because of warmer than usual winter weather, I am expecting not too much fluctuation in price overall. If however, we see an increase in oil prices such as was witnessed later that winter of 2007 then the game is up and you can be assured that consumers will suffer as a result. The price that is projected now is still unaffordable by most people so government will again have to step in and help people out with rebate-type programming.”


For more information, contact:

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

Numbers pointing down but no interruption forecast

Six days out of seven needed and the numbers only show a rough two cents a litre down on most fuels.
Gasoline shows downwards by a rough 2.5 cents but that's still not enough for interruption to occur. Four cents a litre over or less than the previous price setting is needed for that to happen.
Be watching for next weeks update as I'll have some preliminaries on what to expect for the winter heating season to come. from the look of things, it may not be as bas as early last year!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Consumers to catch a break at the pumps?
Diesel, heating and stove oils will drop

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, September 08, 2009- Consumers of diesel, heating and stove oils will all be looking at lower prices this coming Thursday morning when the Public Utilities Board moves to adjust prices, that’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

Gasoline numbers
“At this point we have two different numbers for gasoline, one that shows a one tenth of a cent increase on gasoline, and the other showing a 2.8 cent a litre drop coming. This was all necessitated because of the differential we have been seeing between our numbers and those of the PUB. There’s been a large difference as of late that I’m trying to get a handle on, and I may have it. I’m betting on the price dropping this week for gasoline.

“I can’t say if they have changed the way they do things at the P.U.B as of late. All I know is that while my numbers have been dead on for the other fuels I measure, gasoline has been out substantially and it concerned me. I had to go back for a few weeks and work up some other models to try and account for the differences. I think they’ve changed their ways of doing things for that fuel. We’ll find out Thursday morning if I’m back in the saddle again.

Other price changes expected
“Heating and stove oils are expected to take another drop this week of 2.82 cents a litre. Diesel is expected to drop by 3.3 cents a litre following the trend in the last two weeks of crude oil prices. Crude prices over the last two weeks started out at $72 US a barrel, bottomed at $68 US and climbed again today to reach $71 US a barrel. Some of the focus of the markets has come off distillates again as some economic worries are again permeating the markets in the face of dropping jet fuel demand and worries over the H1N1 virus and its economic effects.”


For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
Numbers showing down

Numbers are all showing down for diesel, heating and stove oils.

Just not sure on gasoline yet.

It's a case where I have two models I'm working with that either show no change in the numbers so far this month or there is a modest 2.6 cent a litre decrease coming. That's with thirteen days out of fourteen showing their ugly faces.

I'll put in a full posting tomorrow night with all the numbers.



Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Will Marine Atlantic add more on fares this week?
"Will" might be exactly what they will do...
Just finished a preliminary look at the numbers for residual fuel oils over the past three months and they're all up, meaning?...
The possibility is here that Marine Atlantic will, once again increase fuel surcharges by another two to three per cent. That's what the numbers are telling me. We have seen increased numbers from June month, almost 38 cents a litre to a point last week that saw the price per litre hit 46 cents per litre.
If an increase is coming, then there should be an announcement imminent.
As to why they wouldn't make an announcement on added fuel surcharges?
The possibility of an election looming as of today's news. Makes one wonder if we aren't being pawed around by the crown corporation in the process. If you don't hear of an increase, or an announcement from the Prime Minister's office on the handling of extra fuel surcharges, then we can assume that there are some shenanigans going on in the light of an election call.
Either way, the people of the province here deserve a straight answer on the going's on in the "Strait".
It's time though, for the office of the Prime Minister to deal with the issue and protect the consumers of Newfoundland and Labrador from the ravages of fuel surcharges passed to us with an addition of funds to help Marine Atlantic absorb the added costs of fuels when necessary.
If then, there is an election around the corner, every person in this province should make this their tantamount election issue...Put a stop to added fuel surcharges on the Marine Atlantic run.
More on this one to come!