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

Langley Junior Thunder ‘done in’ by parade to the penalty box

Langley lost 11-5 to Coquitlam Junior Adanacs in BC Junior A Lacrosse action at LEC

Langley fundraiser for man burned in campfire mishap

Harold Duncan-Williams suffered first, second and third degree burns when his shirt caught on fire

PHOTOS: Black bear gets curious on Lower Mainland driveway

Joe Wu captured photos of the animal wandering in Surrey

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Critter Care annual open house set for July 21 and 22

Guided tours offered during South Langley wildlife facililty fundraiser

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Electoral reform vote in B.C. includes $500,000 each for pro and con groups

A mail-in ballot referendum will take place Oct. 22 to Nov. 30, asking two questions on voting

83-year-old inmate dies at medium-security prison in Mission

Correctional Services Canada says Ralph Whitfield Morris died in custody

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Most Read