No wonder motorists liked it last year: with the rise in oil prices, the profits of all players in the petrol market exploded.
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In the manufacturing sector, earnings at Canadian giants Suncor and Imperial Oil surged more than 250% in the first nine months of last year compared to the same period in 2021.
In the refining sector, Imperial, the country’s largest company in this sector, increased its profits by more than 275%. Profit margins doubled over the year. They went from 10 to 20% in refining (Imperial) and from 20 to 40% in production (Suncor).
These increases are much larger than swings in oil prices. In 2022, the difference between the lowest and highest price in Canadian dollars was no more than 70%.
Carol Montreuil, Canadian Fuels Association
Carol Montreuil of the Canadian Fuels Association bluntly admits that oil companies have had an “extraordinary year”. But in his opinion they have mainly benefited from exchange-traded gasoline prices.
“It’s been an extremely profitable year for reasons over which refiners have no control,” he says. It’s the market and the geopolitical situation that has given them these margins. »
Gas station profits have also increased. In Quebec, the retail gross margin estimated by the Régie de l’énergie averaged 10.3 cents per liter in 2022, an 81% increase from 2021.
However, Sonia Marcotte, CEO of the Association of Quebec Energy Distributors, is unconvinced that retailers’ net profits have increased in 2022. “Costs have gone up, which means the net margin hasn’t necessarily gone up,” she says.
Ms Marcotte mentions processing fees for credit cards, which are calculated as a percentage of the transaction amount, salaries and the necessary investments in connection with ethanol.
Gasoline retail gross margins
|Average selling price|
Source: Energy Association
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