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Montreal gas prices top $1 for 1st time in 2 months

Gas prices plunged amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Gas stations on the island of Montreal are selling a litre of regular fuel for more than $1 as of Tuesday morning for the first time in almost two and a half months, but several of them are still offering it at a lower price.

Gas prices are therefore continuing their slow progression upward, which started a few weeks ago on the island of Montreal.

In the meantime, the essencemontreal.com and gasbuddy.com websites show that prices hover around 90 cents per litre in the nearby Montérégie and the Laurentians.

As of two weeks ago, gas on the island of Montreal was sold at 96 cents per litre in some places — at a much higher price than anywhere elsewhere in Quebec.

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The prices also exceeded the estimated minimum price calculated by the Régie de l’énergie du Québec for the island of Montreal by about 13 cents.

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The difference is similar for this upcoming week. The Régie de l’énergie estimates a minimum price of just under 88 cents per litre for the same area, as well as for parts of Laval.

On Monday, Quebec public health authorities gave the green light to the reopening of businesses in the Greater Montreal region. This should stimulate economic activity and demand for gas in the area.

The gradual rise in prices comes after a sudden price plunge in early March, when Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, flooded the market with fuel.

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World crude prices collapsed in the wake of this decision but also due to a sharp decrease in demand caused by the slowdown in activities caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Strict isolation measures to contain the virus have reduced the number of vehicles on the road and the demand for fuel.

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Since then, the price of oil has recovered slowly. On Monday, it gained 8.1 per cent to US$31.82 per barrel on the New York Stock Exchange.

In mid-March, prices for regular gasoline stood at just over $1 per litre on the island of Montreal — similar to that recorded on Tuesday morning. But a few days later, the best prices ranged from 78 cents to 90 cents, and at the end of the month, it was common to be able to buy a litre of fuel for just over 70 cents.

For the entire province of Quebec, the average price of a litre of gasoline is slightly higher than 93 cents per litre as of Tuesday morning.

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