Quebec City gasoline prices too high for the last 40 days, CAA-Quebec says

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.


For further information:

Cédric Essiminy 
Public Relations Officer 
514 861-7111, ext. 3210 
Cell.: 514 717-4040   
Philippe St-Pierre
Communications Advisor
418 624-2424, ext. 2418

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