May 21, 2014 3:25 pm
Updated: May 21, 2014 4:21 pm

Here’s how much more we’re paying for gas than Americans are

Canadian retail gas prices have surged higher than prices at U.S. pumps this spring as the loonie has declined against the greenback.

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Just like Canadian motorists and commuters, Americans find themselves shelling out more this spring for gas.

Just not quite as much as we are.

On average, U.S. drivers are paying about 10 per cent more at the moment compared to retail prices at the beginning of the year, according to new research published Wednesday by BMO Economics.

But the U.S. spike remains “within the relatively narrow band” that’s been established over the past three springs,  BMO said, as the driving season picks up and supply tightens.

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How about here in Canada? We “haven’t been as lucky,” BMO noted.

Far from remaining within the recent seasonal pattern, retail gas prices have shot through that trend this spring, thanks to a weaker loonie.

READ MORE: Should we buckle up for $1.60 gasoline prices?

The loonie has fallen by about nine per cent against the US dollar since the end of last summer, and is now valued at 91 cents US.

That’s translated into a pretty big gulf between how much we’re paying versus what U.S. motorists are, it seems.

“In U.S. dollars, Canadians are paying about 30 per cent more than Americans for gasoline,” BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri said.

Recall that even if gas is produced and refined here in Canada, it’s still priced at global market rates, and in US dollars.

Below are a couple of accompanying charts Mr. Guatieri sent along with his note.

The chart on the left shows how prices have climbed for U.S. motorists this spring but are within recent norms. The chart on the right shows how Canadian retail prices have spiked above recent trend lines:

Retail gas prices in the United States (left chart) this spring are within recent historical norms. In Canada (right chart), not so much. (BMO)

WATCH: Gas prices have jumped at the pumps, here’s why

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