Metro Vancouver gas prices fall more than 40 cents from record-breaking May highs

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver have fallen more than 40 cents per liter from May's record-high costs. Jill Bennett explains why.

A month after Metro Vancouver repeatedly shattered all-time high gas prices, motorists are seeing a significant drop in the price at the pump.

Gas was selling for as low as $1.369 in Langley, $1.379 in Burnaby and $1.389 at one gas bar in Vancouver on Friday morning.

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For comparison, gas was selling for $0.979 in Calgary on Friday and $1.088 in Toronto, according to Gasbuddy.com.

Gasbuddy’s senior petroleum analyst Dan McTeague said he believes this is the bottom of the dip in prices, but that they should hold into next week.


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“We’re pretty smooth sailing here, at least for the next week or so, until markets wake up from their panic over fears on trade between the U.S. and China, the U.S. and Mexico and so on,” McTeague told Global News.

“It’s been a dramatic drop in prices for a lot of smaller gas stations, and those in smaller communities are finding it difficult to try and sell gasoline for 20 cents less than they bought it for a week ago.”

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Back in May, Metro Vancouver gas prices climbed as high as $1.789 per litre, kicking off a round of political recriminations and a fierce debate over the cause of the surge.

McTeague previously pinned that surge on constrained supply due to lack of pipeline capacity, a tight market on the U.S. west coast and B.C. taxes and fuel efficiency standards.

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The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has suggested Vancouver’s high prices are tied to “gouging” by refiners, who it claims are taking a 20 to 30 cent extra margin on fuel sold to the west coast.

Last month, the province announced that the B.C. Utilities Commission will conduct a probe into gas prices to establish a “common set of facts” about the fuel market, with a report due by the end of August.


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The government’s approach has been criticized by the opposition BC Liberals for not looking at the role of government policy or taxes in contributing to prices.

McTeague rejected the idea that the recent dip in prices is in any way linked to the regulator’s inquiry, instead, pinning it on U.S. refineries finally gearing up after a rocky spring, and shaky international markets with investors in an “absolute panic” over the growing trade dispute between the U.S. and China and Mexico.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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