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

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Eagle tree cut down in South Surrey for ‘The Eagles’ development

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

TONIGHT: Grand finale of Concerts at the Pier

East Beach event set to begin at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Burnouts in the Sky returns in honour of Bradley McPherson

Annual car show returns for first time since McPherson’s killer was convicted

‘Do or die’ time for Whalley, who fell in first game of Little League World Series

Team Canada goes down to powerful Panama in Williamsport, plays Spain Saturday

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Most Read