Expect a turbulent year ahead in gas prices across Canada. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)

Canadian drivers can expect a wild ride at the pumps for 2019: analyst

Vancouver expected to displace Montreal as the highest taxed jurisdiction on fuel in North America

Motorists can expect a year of volatility at the pumps this year as world markets move sharply in varying directions for the foreseeable future, predicts one analyst.

“Canadian drivers should expect a bumpy ride at the pumps in 2019 with markets fluctuating wildly given the uncertainty over the economy as a whole and energy markets being driven by a news headline sensitive stock market,” said Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

At the outset of 2018, GasBuddy accurately predicted a year that would see pump prices reach their highest annual average since 2014. Although the price to fill up dropped substantially in the final quarter of the year, average prices remained 13.9 cents a litre higher than 2018 at $1.242 per litre, the highest since 2014’s average of $1.263 per litre.

RELATED: Capital Region regular gas prices highest since 2008

RELATED: Gas prices jump 14 cents across Greater Victoria overnight

The expected turbulent year ahead follows the pattern of major price swings seen on both the equities and futures markets in the final weeks of 2018 as energy traders look global markets for clues of an economic rebound or continued slowdown in light stemming from concerns over a looming trade war between the U.S. and China trade, Brexit, the status of global crude supplies and overall demand for oil products. For Canada specifically, a weaker Loonie, which now stands 10 cents weaker than the U.S. greenback and Ottawa imposing a 5 cent per litre carbon tax on April 1 point to higher than usual pump prices for the spring and summer driving season as pipeline constraints and taxes continue to widen the spread between the price of oil and pump prices.

RELATED: Tax hikes across B.C. set for 2019

RELATED: Bills to grow bigger in 2019 for B.C. residents

“With carbon taxes set to begin or increase in 8 of 10 provinces, the average hike of 5 cents per litre by April 1, combined with a limping Loonie, will almost certainly force up the cost of filling your tank, just in time for the summer driving season and switchover to more expensive summer gasoline,” said McTeague. “The tax increases will be particularly noticeable in Vancouver which will displace Montreal as the highest taxed jurisdiction on fuel in North America.”

Although fuel prices are likely to reach 2018 levels and at times reach above seasonal highs, extra attention will need to be given to the ongoing premium of diesel prices, which are not expected to fall notably for several years. Overall, fuel prices in 2019 could well turn out to be more expensive than any year since 2014, helped in no small part by an increase in gas taxes and currency challenges.

GasBuddy.com shares crowdsourced, real-time fuel prices at more than 150,000 gas station convenience stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Parksville senior weightlifters prepare for world championships

Couple training for August event in Montreal

Vandals wreak havoc on Parksville flower beds

‘Senseless’ act causes thousands of dollars in damage

Ballenas grads to stage Vegas-themed prom parade

Residents invited to watch event on June 29

Parksville ready to party like it’s 1945

City will celebrate 75th birthday on June 19, 2020

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

How the Vancouver Island flag flew under the radar for over a century

A B.C. history buff created the flag in the ’80s, 100 years after it was ordered

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Most Read