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Canadian News Aug 10, 2021 4:13 PM EST

Gas price analyst says prices could rise depending on Delta variant effect on economy

Continually rising gas prices across the country could carry on into the near future depending on the delta variant’s effect on Canada’s economy.

Gas price analyst says prices could rise depending on Delta variant effect on economy
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Continually rising gas prices across the country could carry on into the near future depending on the delta variant’s effect on Canada’s economy, a gas price analyst warned.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, told CP24 that the variant is causing concerns for demand as rising cases slows economic reopening progress across the country.

In early July, crude oil prices peaked at above US$75 per barrel, raising gas prices in cities like Vancouver to highs of $1.74 per litre.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the price of crude oil was US$68.63 per barrel. Despite the decrease in crude oil prices, the price Canadians pay at the pump has continued to rise in recent weeks.

According to McTeague, the value of the Canadian dollar also dropped when the price of crude dropped, resulting in the price discrepancies.

Looking into the near future, McTeague said that fuel costs would be dependent on whether COVID-19 cases plateau or not.

The average price of gas in Canada is currently around $1.39 per litre, according to data from Gasbuddy.com.

If COVID-19 cases continue to rise, McTeague said consumers can expect prices to hover around that current level, but if cases drop, he expects more sharp increases.

"There continues to be this reality that the world is playing catch up when it comes to demand, and supply is just not adequately meeting demand," said McTeague. "It'll obviously be a very real problem once we get past this particular COVID variant."

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