Sask. pump prices could drop before long weekend, says gas expert

A national gas expert says drivers across Saskatchewan could see prices at the pumps start to level out this week, or even drop.

Last week, many stations boosted prices by as much as 10 cents/litre across the province. According to Dan McTeague, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, much of that spike can be attributed to global uncertainty.

"No one saw that missile strike [in Syria] from last week coming, and that led to wider speculation that that could be more of a global standoff," he told CBC Radio's Morning Edition.

"Some commodities, not just gold but oil, tend to still be a bit of a proxy that takes a bit of a pulse of the world's mood."

Summer temperatures are also a factor in the recent price increase. From April to September, the price of producing gasoline increases by two or three cents per litre, because the gas needs to be less volatile during higher temperatures and is more expensive to make.

McTeague believes gas prices could drop slightly before the long weekend, but may increase next week.

'This is the high water mark' — for now

"I think this is the high water mark we're going to see for now, at around 105.9 [cents]," he said. "Starting this [Monday] afternoon, you're going to see a lot of stations moving down, from the $1.05 to the $1.03 range."

Before this latest price spike, he said gas stations were keeping prices low at anywhere between 93-95 cents per litre due to competition.

"What gas stations were actually doing was competing fiercely against one another," he said. "They were throwing away their retail margins. ... It costs gas stations about 97 cents per litre to buy the fuel to begin with."

According to McTeague, Saskatchewan comes in at the second lowest gas prices in the country on average, behind Manitoba.