QUEBEC, Dec. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - While motorists in several regions of
Quebec have benefited from attractive prices at the pump that are
fluctuating or remaining low, the oil industry in the Greater Quebec
City region has not bestowed any gifts on drivers, who have had to
resign themselves to paying high prices for more than a month.
According to CAA-Quebec, the average retail margin on gasoline in Quebec
City has remained close to 8 cents a litre since November 10, even
reaching 12 cents a litre on one occasion.
Too high for 40 days!
In comparison, the average provincial margin calculated by the Régie de
l'énergie has been 5.1 cents a litre for the last 52 weeks, nearly 3
cents less than the average prevailing in Quebec City for 40 days now.
In the provincial capital, unlike other regions, including Montreal,
there have not really been any good moments for filling up during that
time. This is an unjustified and deplorable situation.
"Since November 10, the price at the pump in the Quebec City region has
been above CAA-Quebec's realistic price as shown on its Gasoline Watch
microsite," says Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Senior Director, Public
and Government Relations. "In addition, even when the product
replacement cost (the cost of acquisition) heads lower, the price at
the pump does not follow the same trend. This means motorists are not
benefiting from the lower product cost when filling up, since the
industry is not adjusting its price downward. That probably represents
tens of thousands of dollars the industry has been taking from
motorists' pockets without cause."
Meanwhile, in Sherbrooke and Montreal…
Two other markets watched closely by CAA-Quebec have been showing some
interesting facts. Since October 8, apart from only one morning, the
price at the pump has remained unchanged in Sherbrooke! At 109.4 cents
a litre, motorists in Sherbrooke have been supporting an average retail
margin of 2.5 cents a litre since November 10, well below the average
provincial margin. Montreal motorists, on the other hand, have had to
contend with a fluctuating retail margin that has averaged 5.7 cents a
litre since that date. However, this is close to the margin observed by
CAA-Quebec for the Montreal region in the last 52 weeks.
"A market is healthy if it fluctuates," Ms. Gagnon notes. "It is true
that Montreal motorists have had to face increases and higher margins
during this same period, but at least the market adjusts more quickly.
In the course of a week, it is thus possible to fill up at prices
closer to market indicators. This, unfortunately, is not the case in
Quebec City." Ms. Gagnon adds that CAA-Quebec's annual report on
gasoline prices will be made public in a few weeks.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1904, provides
automotive, travel, residential and financial services and privileges
to more than one million members.
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