Gas prices leap 8 cents in Winnipeg
Anger over long weekend price hikes is somewhat misplaced, GasBuddy.com analyst says
A long weekend is coming and gas prices have soared.
The price at the pump in Winnipeg has climbed eight cents at most stations in Winnipeg, going from an average of 99.5 cents per litre on Tuesday to 107.9 on Wednesday.
"Driving just got a lot more expensive," said Dan McTeague, a senior analyst with GasBuddy.com.
While a long weekend is often viewed by many as an excuse for gas stations to hike their prices, that anger is somewhat misplaced, said McTeague.
It actually has more to do with the weak dollar and federal law, he said. If the Canadian dollar were on par with the U.S. dollar, we'd only be seeing a jump of three or four cents, he said.
"The value of the Canadian dollar has a lot to do with the price we pay for all of our commodities, all of our energy products."
Summer gas is more expensive
But what might surprise some people is that refineries are federally mandated to change the composition of gas from mid-April to mid-September with additives that stabilize it under higher temperatures, McTeague said.
"With warmer weather, gasoline can become volatile. It can either evaporate into the environment or create vapour lock in your engine emission systems," he said.
"Summer blends are more expensive," and they're needed even more with demand from newer vehicles with more efficient engines, he said.
McTeague expects the prices to get higher through the summer because demand grows as people travel more and Canada just doesn't have enough refinery capacity to influence North American gasoline markets.
"Demand in the United States is going up dramatically. The economy is back on its feet, Americans are driving further."
It looks like prices will be an average of 15-20 cents a litre higher in summer 2017 than in summer 2016, he said.
There are still deals out there, however. The top 10 lowest prices in Winnipeg ranged from 97.8 to 99.5 on Wednesday morning, according to the Manitoba Gas Prices list provided by GasBuddy.
Just for the record, on this day last year prices were around 86 cents per litre.