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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hi to all,

Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes:

*Heating and stove oils show an added 1.4 cents a litre up.
*Diesel shows an added penny upwards, and...
*Gasoline shows an added 1.2 cents a litre at the pumps.


US EIA inventory data still shows demand for gasoline
     US Energy Information data still showed demand for gasoline to remain up in the lead-up to the Christmas travel season, but this week began to taper somewhat. It may be as simple as investors not seeing demand continue in the weeks after the holidays and that may be the beginning of what hopefully will be a retreat in prices. Any building of inventories during winter on gasoline may be enough to lower prices in the coming weeks.
     The US EIA reported a drop of 1.6 million barrels. Inventories remain a rough 5 million barrels over the same timeframe last year.

Local word
     With snow-clearing becoming a prevalent issue on people’s minds, it remains a wonder why government has not taken some of the new gas tax money and re-invested back into 24 hour snow-clearing.
     Last year, government collected $193.98 million in gasoline taxes and it’s own estimates predict $312 million will be collected with the doubling down of the gas tax in year one.
     Government also said they would save a mere $1.9 million in getting rid of 24 hour snow-clearing.
     “As a matter of public safety first and foremost, why can’t government take the $1.9 million from the new gas tax money and retain proper snow-clearing for the people of the province? It’s obvious right now that their new program is not working, plain and simple”. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
      “Government must understand also that our highways are part of how we carry out commerce in this province, and if they aren’t useable, then we don’t generate needed revenue for business, and also for government.
       Basic services suffer.
        Not cleaning roads may in fact cost government more than just savings. It could cost jobs, let alone lives!”

Letter to the Public Utilities Board: Transportation study needed for Labrador market
     I will be writing the Public Utilities Board in the next couple of days to ask that the Board review transportation costs of fuel, particularly to coastal Labrador.
     The reason is simple really...
     Before Christmas we all saw that Coastal Shipping, a branch of the Woodward Group lay off a hundred Newfoundland and Labrador personnel in favour of cheaper labour aboard five of their ships.
    “If labour is a major cost to them of doing business that has been claimed as an allowable expense in the transport of fuels and mark-ups to consumers as a result, then prices for the transport of fuels to Newfoundland ports of call, but  particularly to coastal Labrador must come down as a result of paying out lower wages. Just because you fly a ‘flag of convenience’ does not mean consumers should pay. If tanker costs are coming down for the company, fuel costs have to come down for the consumer.”

That’s it for this first year’s edition!


George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

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