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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Price changes for Thursday, February 4, 2016

Good evening!

Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes. Please keep in mind that the numbers for Heating oil and Diesel fuel are subject to winter blending and may be off somewhat. Use them as a rough indicator of direction!

*Heating oil shows an added 3.6 cents a litre.

*Stove oil shows the same 3.6 cents a litre.

*Diesel shows an added 3.4 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows an added 6/10ths of a cent a litre.

Market highlights

Canadian dollar steady

*While oil gained some strength over the session, rising to touch close to $36 US for Brent, the Canadian dollar rose right along with it. Averaging close to $145 last week, the dollar gained almost five cents against the US dollar, but did not retreat with the last couple of days trading, staying at a steady $1.40 against the greenback.

US inventories

*While US inventories of crude oil, gasoline both increased last week, prices for distillates like heating, stove oils and Diesel fuel all decreased with colder weather in the US northeast and Mid-west. Inventories were nailed with a loss of 4.1 million barrels, showing good demand for the products, and that’s where speculators poured it on. Crude oil added an additional 8.4 million barrels while gasoline was up another 3.5 million.

            Refiner capacity dropped to 87.4% from the 90.6% recorded the week previously due to unscheduled refinery outages.

Marine Atlantic surcharges

*Any increase to surcharges to Marine Atlantic customers should be totally unacceptable for anyone in this province. While not directly fuel related, any future increases to fuel surcharges are coming, according to the federal corporation. Representation from this province should be made to prevent any increases that supported the former government’s policy of making the crown corporation a “self-sustaining” entity. The policy of any government should be to connect a country, not bar anyone from entry or exiting from that province. “Any increase in rates adds to an artificial inflationary cost that is passed to consumers” and should be absorbed by the federal government.

            Secondly: The boats we have now were first purchased as a replacement to the old “Caribou” and “Joseph and Clara Smallwood” boats, not only because of twenty year replacement, but because of their fuel efficiency. While there hasn’t been any marginal decrease in marine diesel prices, it is wrong to assume that consumers and users of the ferry system will have to pay higher costs due to higher prices for the fuel in the future. Already, there is a glut in shipping worldwide, so much so that fuels, like marine diesel fuels, are expected to retreat in the face of less consumables being transported.

           Lastly: If there’s any improvement in the Canadian dollar, then consumers should be, not only expecting, but demanding a break to fuel surcharges because of the same lower cost of fuel acquisition. The price of fuel, right now, between 2014 and 2016, when we were close to par and today’s dollar, both show that we essentially are paying the same price for fuel.

            Either way, absorb the cost. It’s the price of doing the country’s business!

Watching: US inventories, gasoline inventories, Iran production, Saudi-Russia arrangements, OPEC production figures.

That’s it for this week!


George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOIl

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