Gas prices in northern B.C. are slowly catching up to the record-high prices at the pumps in other parts of the province.
Overnight, the price of gas in Prince Rupert went 13 per cent, from $128.9 to $145.9 a litre. But that’s still a far cry from the $1.70 in Surrey on the same morning. By the afternoon, it dropped to $138.9 at three of the four gas stations in town. In Terrace, some Esso/Husky stations are at $142.9, in Quesnel $139.9, and $132.9 in Williams Lake.
The yo-yo effect is because gas bars are trying to compete with bigger stations, said GasBuddy.com petroleum analyst Dan McTeague.
“It’s gas bar shenanigans. It’s gas retailers seeing their wholesale price has gone up, and retailers there deeply discounting their gas, selling it below cost and then when there is a small increase on the wholesale side they raise their retail margins and then they add the two or three cent a litre increase so that’s why you see that,” McTeague said in an interview with Black Press Media.
“Gas bars are playing games trying to compete with the big box stores, in particular Costco. So you see that kind of happen in places like Kamloops, you see that in Prince George sooner or later people have to throw in the towel and say we can’t sell gasoline below cost.”
Two days ago, some B.C. cities had record-breaking prices at the pumps. White Rock was up to $1.709 a litre. The reason for this spike was the B.C. carbon tax that was increased April 1, and two major fuel suppliers are under maintenance.
Last April, the Northern View reported on gas prices in Prince Rupert hitting $1.43 a litre, up 20 cents overnight.
— With files from Joti Grewal
The Northern View