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Monday, January 31, 2011

Markets play with Egypt and Tunisia unrest

Hi to all...

Just letting everyone know that I have been watching the markets closely with all the turmoil in Egypt and Tunisia.
So far, even though the price of oil hit $90 US a barrel again, it hasn't had a large impact on petroleum prices, even though they are up slightly as a result.

Here's what I have for this regulation period so far:
  • Heating and stove oils are up by 1.2 cents.
  • Diesel is up by one cent a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows "up" by 3/10ths of a cent.
The next two days will be the measure of what to expect, but so far, the unrest in Egypt and Tunisia hasn't had a lot of effect on refined commodity prices.

Regards for now,

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prices steady for this week
Word from Saudi Arabia may bring price relief Next week
Media release
Conception Bay South, NL, January 25, 2011- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see some changes to pricing this week when the PUB moves to adjust prices, but they may not experience any major pricing relief until next week. That's from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
"The numbers for this week don't show a lot of movement, but the news out of Saudi Arabia may be enough to play into downwards pricing pressure for next week," Murphy said. "This week, I have heating and stove oils up by 1.03 cents per litre, diesel up by 4/10ths and gasoline shows a modest drop of 9/10ths of a cent.
However, I'm watching the last day of this regulation period with great interest as the Saudi's have entered the news, affecting spot prices during the last day or so. My numbers are already showing a drop in all prices coming for next week on the news from the markets today, and I'm hopefull that this pricing trend will continue for the next week bringing some pricing relief for the next price setting. Consumers may want to gauge their purchases accordingly."
Saudis announce possible production increases
"The real break for consumers may come into play next week as, late yesterday, the Saudi Arabian energy minister, Ali Al Naimi said that the Saudi Arabian government does not want to see oil prices break the $100 US per barrel mark. In his statement to Bloomberg, he talked about the possibility of high oil prices doing damage to the world economy, something we've been talking about for a long time now. What he also said that was so important was the fact that other OPEC countries were prepared to boost production to keep prices below the $100 US per barrel mark and that fact alone tells the world that even OPEC is nervous about the price of high oil on any recovering economy.
Signs that world economic recovery has stalled
"News from London was not good today with the British government announcing that their economy contracted by a half percentage point and gross domestic productivity also unexpectedly shrank during the fourth quarter. Match that with numbers out of the US that signaled a stall in residential housing prices in the US and we have good reason to see why oil prices have also stalled. No one has the money to buy, and there are good signs that no one can afford high energy prices.
Also out of the US, there is expectation tonight that there will be a build in US crude oil inventory that may also be signaling a stall in consumer demand. I believe that what I predicted earlier is now coming to fruition: that high energy makes economic recovery that much harder. It's just unbelievable that world leaders find it so hard to believe too."
For more information, contact;
George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Monday, January 24, 2011

Steady as she goes...

The six day is in for this week, and there's not much change reflected in the numbers.
At least, not yet...
  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of 1.18 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an added half penny, while...
  • Gasoline shows a half penny down.
What I am watching for this week is a second week of inventory building that, paired with the news out of Saudi Arabia just today, will amount to a drop in prices in the coming weeks.

Saudi Arabia today announced the need for keeping prices below the $100 US a barrel mark. That could signify that the Saudis are ready to ramp up production to keep prices down.

We can all live in hope!

I'll be back again tomorrow night with the final numbers on what to expect this Thursday.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Consumers to get tagged
Refined commodity prices increase with positive economic news
Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, January 18, 2011- Newfoundland and Labradorians will again be getting tagged with higher energy prices this week as refined commodity prices have increased along with speculation that consumer demand will ramp up along with economic recovery. That news comes from George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

"As I predicted before last week's changes in pricing, I called the shot on what consumers could expect if the oil market trend kept pace with the positive economic news that was out there, we can now confirm that consumers will be feeling the pinch of the penny again this week", said Murphy. "I expect heating and stove oils to increase by 2.12 cents, diesel to increase by three cents a litre, and gasoline by the predicted 9/10ths of a cent on a litre. Again, all on speculators believing that consumers will still consume more as a result of the positive economic news out there in the markets. There's a strong belief out there that demand will remain up, and possibly increase from present levels.

Distillate fuel numbers up
"Distillate prices that would include diesel, heating and stove oils, as well as kerosene and other jet fuels are all up in price. It's my belief that consumers will get a double whammy here in the province as transportation costs begin to grow with the end result being costs handed back to consumers in the form of fuel surcharges. Just last week most major airlines south of the border increased charges on domestic fares. It's just a matter of time before the airlines do it here, all in spite of an increased Canadian dollar.

"If distillate fuel prices are up sharply, then we can also expect to see marine transportation fuel prices to also be up, meaning the possibility of increased charges and ticket prices to Marine Atlantic users. It's really time that the people of the province ask the federal government for stability in Marine Atlantic's rates so we won't have to see any increase to the price of consumer goods that come in via the Gulf of St. Lawrence route. If this an election year, the province should ask for extra money to be added to the budget of Marine Atlantic expressly for the purpose of keeping stable shipping rates to the crown corporation so consumers and business here doesn't have to deal with added costs associated with higher marine diesel or orimulsion prices."

Layton wants the HST off heat
The leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Mr. Jack Layton, is asking that the federal government to drop the federal component of HST off all forms of heat in the next budget, something for which the consumers in this province and Nova Scotia have spoken about loudly in the past. If the federal government removes their taxation component and the province removes theirs, adding up to a total of thirteen per cent taxes on heat, then it would go a long way to putting some disposable income back in to the hands of everyone.

Layton has also asked for the feds to reinstate the home retrofit programs of the past that could be used as an economic recovery and environmentally sound means of energy conservation.
For more information, contact;
George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Monday, January 17, 2011

Predictions holding up

You may remember from last week's post that I mentioned the possibility that numbers from late last week would translate into increases at the consumer level for this week.

Numbers still show that after six days of data, with US markets closed today for the Martin Luther King Day holiday we don't have to wait for data from today's trading.

Here's what I have so far, with one day of data coming tomorrow:
  • Heating and stove oils show a 2.02 cent per litre increase.
  • Diesel shows an added 2.9 cents at the pumps, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 9/10ths of a cent.
Spread the word. No dodging it again this week!

I'll be back tomorrow night with the full synopsis on what to expect for Thursday, but it looks like what we see here.



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Small increases expected
Positive economic news pushes oil upward
Media release
Conception Bay South, NL, January 11,2011- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador can expect to see some slight increases to petroleum product pricing this week when the Public Utilities Board moves to adjust prices. That's from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
"Expect to see some small, upwards moves in prices this week, but there is a warning coming from the markets for next week already", said Murphy." I expect heating and stove oils to increase by just 36/100ths of a cent, diesel to increase by 1.2 cents and gasoline to increase by just 9/10ths of a cent this Thursday morning.
Why prices may increase next week
The real news could come next week. While numbers have been insulated somewhat by the growth in value of the Canadian dollar, there is a heavy investment in oil that has occurred in the past day that could signify a larger increase to consumers next week for distillate fuels that I am watching closely. Already, heating and stove oils, as well as diesel prices, are showing up by two cents a litre for next week, while gasoline shows just an added 8/10ths of a cent. Positive economic news along with an industry report that shows a very modest increase in crude oil inventory.
The United States Energy Department raised its 2011 average crude oil price a couple of dollars today, citing a positive upturn in the economy as reasons why demand for crude oil and refined products will be up. The report also states that heating oil prices will be up higher than forecast initially, increasing the average price per US gallon to $3.28.
Why oil prices could run away
"While I don't think it's entirely possible for oil prices to run away again as they did in 2008, I could very well proved wrong on my guess. The possibility of them running away could do more damage to a recovering economy than benefit one, and economies should be exercising caution. Already with burgeoning economic development in China and India, increased consumer demand from consumers, and the ease for which investors can get money to invest from their respective lending institutions, it can be seen why oil prices could gain such heights again.
"However, I think investors have to show an ear of caution here, and the same warnings have to be shown on the part of lending institutions that may be part of the problem that speculators themselves have been blamed for. You can hardly blame an investor, but if the markets collapse again as a result of an artificial increase in the value of any product, in this case oil, then the whole lending institution business worldwide has to be taught to loan on the basis of reality, let alone on speculation. Lending institutions can also be party to economic collapse as well as party to any recovery."
For more information, contact;
George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Numbers are in

The seven day is in...
Here's what I have for this weeks price changes.
There may be some variance as a result of the holidays, but either way, the numbers for this week are down.
I'll be back to having more details rather than just the bare numbers starting again next week. In the meantime, I hope the holidays were great for everyone.
Here's the numbers:
  • Heating and stove oils show a drop of 1.65 cents per litre for Thursday coming.
  • Diesel shows a drop of an even two cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows down by 2.7 cents per litre.
Back again next week!
George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
The "six day" is in.
Numbers are down

Just a short note here, with all the holidays and all. I should be back to a regular routine again next week, please God!

Here's what I have for the "six day"report:
  • Heating and stove oils show 2.11 cents a litre down.
  • Diesel shows 2.1 cents down, and...
  • Gasoline shows a drop of 2.8 cents a litre on the way for Thursday.
Back again tomorrow night with the final data on what to expect for this Thursday coming!