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Gas price spike a spring rite — but this year is worse than normal

CALGARY - A gasoline price spike is to be expected around this time of year, when refineries switch from producing heating fuel to gasoline.

But this year's pre-Victoria Day bump has been especially painful, with the national average above $1.37 per litre, according to price-tracking website GasBuddy.com. The price is a big jump from last year's $1.23.

GasBuddy co-founder Jason Toews says the price has never been this high at this time of year — although it hasn't surpassed the all time record of $1.42 in September, 2008.

John Kiemele, chief operating officer at energy consultant En-Pro International, says there are a few factors aggravating the price spike this time around.

For instance, the extreme weather in Canada has led to a delay in building up inventories of gasoline, just as demand is starting to pick up.

The loonie's drop against the U.S. dollar is also making things worse, because energy products are bought and sold in American currency.



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