Expect more pain at the pumps this weekend, Toronto. Gas prices are set to soar by 12 cents per litre by Saturday morning, in what one expert says is an “unprecedented” spike for such a short period of time.
Starting tonight, prices will shoot to about $1.86 for Toronto and surrounding areas, and will likely stay that way for several days, says Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy. Premium gas is expected to jump to $2.15 and diesel, $2.01.
It’s yet another back-to-back jump in prices — a spike of 23 cents in just 72 hours, McTeague told CBC News.
“It’s unprecedented in terms of time,” he said.
Prices climbed by six cents on Thursday, another five cents on Friday and will jump 12 more cents by Saturday morning.
“This is really the result of markets realizing oil is in very short supply, gasoline even shorter, diesel even worse and of course the switchover from winter to summer gasoline,” McTeague said.
Winter gasoline uses butane, which is cheaper and ignites a vehicle much more quickly in colder temperatures, he explained. Summer blends are regularly about five cents more expensive because they use alkylates, materials more often found in premium gasoline. This year, that material is about eight cents more expensive.
Saturday’s spike will bring gas prices to their second highest ever in Toronto, according to McTeague. In March, prices at the pump hit $1.90 for one day, but fell quickly by 15 cents the next day, due to market volatility.
He says the spike in prices is largely because of the switchover to summer gasoline, but that larger factors like a weak Canadian dollar, less investment in traditional fuel also play a role, on top of the pressures of the war in Ukraine.
McTeague says near record prices will be the new normal at least for a while. And with oil prices expected to continue rising, a $2-sticker at the pump isn’t out of the question, he says.
At the pumps in Toronto, some took the news in stride.
“It is what it is,” said Heidi McKenzie. “I don’t use that much gas so, I’ll be OK.”
Others were grateful to be filling up before prices soar.
“I don’t really know what to feel,” said Steven Clarke. “I’m just glad I’m buying it today.”
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