Gas prices climb to $1 in Montreal for the first time in two months

A gas pump is shown at a filling station in Montreal, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

For the first time in nearly two and a half months, gas stations on the island of Montreal on Tuesday had regular gas listed above $1.

Generally, prices have continued to climb gradually over the past few weeks in the city. 

Surrounding areas are still behind by a few cents. According to essencemontreal.com and gasbuddy.com, gas still costs around $0.90 per litre in Montérégie and the Laurentians. 

Prices for regular gas were listed at $0.96 on the island of Montreal two weeks ago, which was significantly higher than other Quebec regions. It exceeded the minimum estimated price calculated for the month of May by around $0.13, and the gap this week is no different – the Régie de l’énergie has listed a minimum estimated price of $0.88 for Montreal and Laval. 

On Monday, Quebec health authorities gave Montreal the green light to reopen its businesses as planned on May 25, which should stimulate the economy and see an increase in the demand for gas in the area. 

The gradual increase in prices comes after a sudden drop in early March, when Saudi Arabia – the world's largest oil producer – decided to significantly decrease crude oil delivery prices. Global crude prices collapsed in the wake of this decision, and also because of a drop in demand due to COVID-19. Isolation orders have reduced the number of vehicles on the roads and, by extension, the demand for fuel.

The price of oil has increased slowly since then. On the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, it gained 8.1 per cent, totaling at USD $31.82 per barrel.

In mid-March, regular gas prices in Montreal stood at just over $1 per litre, similar to those listed on Tuesday morning. A few days later, the lowest prices varied between $0.78 and $0.90, and by the end of the month, some were as low as $0.70. 

For the province of Quebec, the average price per litre was just above $0.93 on Tuesday morning. 

The gasbuddy.com website listed the best prices in the province on Tuesday near the US border, as is often the case. Others were listed at $0.85 in Gatineau, $0.88 in Sherbrooke, $0.92 in Quebec City, $0.93 in Rimouski, and $0.95 in Trois-Rivières.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2020. 

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