FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Analysts with GasBuddy.com are forecasting that 2018 will see motorists paying the highest average prices at the pumps in nearly four years.
Senior petroleum analyst Dan McTeague said in the website’s annual forecast of fuel prices that, “Circumstances beyond Canada’s control, including a surging U.S dollar versus a weaker Loonie, increasing U.S. fuel demand and growing exports, will put a premium on what Canadians will pay at the pumps in 2018. We estimate pump prices will, therefore, rise an average of 5 cents a litre across the country.”
McTeague said that across Canada, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline will sit at $1.19/L in 2018, which is nearly 20 cents per litre higher than just two years ago. Both 2013 and 2014 had average yearly prices at around the $1.25/L mark. The lowest prices this year will be seen in this month, with a nationwide average price of $1.13/L. That will jump to $1.24/L by September.
In contrast, diesel prices are expected to bottom out during the middle of the summer, and to peak this year in February and March. The average price of diesel fuel is expected to be slightly below gasoline, at $1.15/L.
Among the reasons for the forecast jump in prices, McTeague said OPEC’s decision to extend the production cuts it made in 2016 is largely to blame, as well as several other factors.
“Government decisions to implement or increase carbon taxes, guarantees no driver will be spared a further hit to their pocketbooks. 2018 promises to be another year that petroleum products leads the way in pushing up the overall cost of living for Canadians, setting in motion inflationary pressures that could, in turn, lead to higher interest rates.”