Gas prices expected to climb higher

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By Nathan Frank

Gas prices in Saskatchewan have reached an all-time high for April.

Co-op employee Justin Schwartz fills up a customer's car on Thursday. Gas prices this week jumped six cents across the city to 133.9 cents. 

On Wednesday, gas prices jumped six cents from 127.9 to 133.9 cents at most gas stations in the city. The jump was caused by a few different factors, said Jason Toews, co-founder of gasbuddy.com.

Toews told the Times-Herald that the combination of a Canadian dollar falling 10 per cent and refineries changing from winter fuel to summer fuel has created the bump. He said the prices are tied to supply and demand.

“The problem is (oil companies) build these refineries so they can’t produce enough gasoline. In the winter there is no problems. They have lots of extra capacity — that’s why gas prices go down,” explained Toews. “In the summer months they can’t produce enough oil. So, with the laws of supply and demand, prices have to go up and the demand goes down.”

Toews expects prices to rise four to six cents by mid-May before they stabilize after Victoria Day.

“Once July and August hits, when kids are out of school and people want to spend time at the lake, they are going to drive a lot more. So, I think we will see gas prices start to creep back up in July and August,” he said.

The last time gas prices peaked was in 2008, when the Saskatchewan average was 144 cents. However, months later the price crashed down to 74 cents because of the world economic downturn. Barring another recession, Toews doesn’t expect the same thing to happen in the near future.

“I wouldn’t say I am an economist,” he said.” But I don’t’ think we will see gas prices to be down below a dollar again.”

However, Toews said despite the high prices, thrifty drivers can still find cheaper than market value gas prices.

“Even within Regina you can find some deals on gas. Usually it’s a spread of at least seven cents per litre. Sometimes it’s more,” he said on Thursday. “For example, the price at Regina Messenger is 122.9, while the predominant prices is 133.9.”

Prices also varied on Thursday between 125.9 at Super Store and 133.9 throughout most gas stations in the city. However, Toews explained that most gas stations respond to the changes in the market within 24 hours.

Nathan Frank can be reached at 306-691-1263.

Organizations: Times-Herald, Super Store

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Regina

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