Gasoline prices have climbed with the rise in crude oil and the fall in the value of the loonie against the U.S. dollar.

Gas prices to approach $1.50 record in Metro Vancouver

Resistance expected to 'psychological barrier' as pain at the pumps worsens

The onset of spring has pushed up both tulips and gasoline prices.

And industry watchers expect Metro Vancouver pump prices to close in on their all-time record of about $1.50 per litre of regular gas in the weeks ahead.

Average prices were around $1.44 per litre Tuesday, up more than 15 per cent from the mid-December low of around $1.24.

Jason Toews, founder of the gasbuddy.com website, expects prices will rise further – up to a point.

“I don’t think we’re going to see record level prices,” Toews said.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of resistance at $1.50. It’s a psychological barrier. People really start changing their driving habits and it starts having an impact on demand.”

Metro Vancouver average pump prices approached but essentially bounced off $1.50 twice last year, in mid-May and mid-July.

Toews said Abbotsford gas prices, which were just under $1.30 Tuesday, could hit $1.40 a litre this spring or summer before lower prices return in the fall.

Better spring weather always brings more driving, increased demand and therefore higher prices.

But Toews noted gas prices are somewhat higher now than they were at the same time last year.

Crude oil accounts for 70 per cent of the cost of gasoline and it’s almost 10 per cent higher than in early spring of 2013.

But the bigger factor is the Canadian dollar, which has slid nearly a dime against the U.S. greenback.

Since oil is priced in U.S. dollars, the loonie’s weakness means the price Canadian refiners actually pay for crude is about 20 per cent higher now than a year ago, Toews said.

“The Canadian dollar is definitely having an impact.”

Toews said his prediction of no new record is contingent on no major international crisis that sends crude prices soaring, or a production problem similar to the fire at Washington’s Cherry Point refinery in 2012.

“If there’s some sort of supply disruption then all bets are off.”

Vancouver Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by GasBuddy.com

Just Posted

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

U-Save property owner files six lawsuits against District of Hope

One of the lawsuits demands $6,200 to undo the work done on the roundhouse.

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

Husband pleads guilty in relation to 2009 killing of Kulwinder Gill

Abbotsford woman died in hit-and-run conspiracy

Raymond Lee Caissie gets life in prison for murdering Surrey teen in 2014

Judge numbers Caissie among ‘violent merciless men without a conscience’

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Most Read