Motorists who fill up with diesel haven't benefitted as much from falling fuel prices.

Diesel stays stubbornly high amid crude oil drop

Once-cheap fuel now costs much more than gasoline, users getting little relief at pumps

Pity the poor diesel truck owner.

While regular gasoline prices have dropped significantly with the plunging price of oil, the pump price for diesel has remained stubbornly high.

Diesel is now averaging $1.38 per litre in Metro Vancouver, down just eight per cent from its summer peak, while gas has fallen 25 per cent to $1.15.

“It shouldn’t be that high,” said John Whittall, a West Kelowna photographer and retiree who bought his diesel pickup for the fuel savings.

“Typically, diesel hasn’t been more than gas. When gas was low it was lower.”

That’s historically true.

But early 2009 – when diesel was 85 cents a litre and gas was nearly $1 – is the last time diesel drivers enjoyed big savings.

The price gap closed and since 2012 diesel has cost a few cents a litre more than gas most of the time, according to statistics maintained by petroleum industry analysts MJ Ervin and Associates.

For the last three years, diesel has been stuck between $1.30 and $1.50 in Vancouver, costing a few cents more than regular gas for most of that time.

RELATED: Gasoline price drop nearly done for B.C. motorists: analyst

Jason Parent, vice-president of consulting at MJ Ervin, says the reason for the disparity is diesel and gasoline are two very different commodities that don’t move together in lockstep.

“They each have their own supply and demand fundamentals and they can move in different directions,” he said.

Unlike gasoline, which jumps in price towards summer as more drivers hit the road, diesel tends to rise in the winter.

The reason, Parent said, is that diesel is virtually identical to heating oil, which is in high demand to heat homes in the winter.

“In the winter season when it gets colder, demand for heating oil spikes and that causes a demand pull on both heating oil prices and diesel prices.”

The drop in crude oil prices has put downward pressure on diesel, he said, but that has been largely offset by the increase in winter demand – much to the irritation of diesel users.

“The guys who use diesel are all wondering why they’re not seeing the same benefit as everyone else.”

Whittall said he has difficulty believing Parent’s explanation.

He said diesel prices never seem to budge, no matter if it’s summer, winter or crude oil prices are collapsing.

“I bet you it hasn’t moved a penny up here,” he said.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Sometimes it’s okay to simply try

I feel like a success even though I failed at donating blood

Fraser Valley fire departments form ‘strike teams’ to combat wildfires

Boston Bar, Chilliwack River Valley and Popkum departments form strike teams to fight wildfires

RCMP nab prolific car thief in Agassiz after month-long search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Island swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights can be misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Vancouver Whitecaps give up late goal in 2-2 draw with New York Red Bulls

Four of Vancouver’s next five games are at home

B.C. man designer behind Canucks’ retro jersey

Jeremie White was 20 years old when he told Canucks assistant GM Brian Burke he had a design

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Most Read