September 29, 2003
(Government Services and Lands)


The following is being distributed at the request of the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission:

Distillate fuel prices are about to see a significant decrease in this province

On the heels of interrupting the normal pricing schedule for gasoline, the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission (PPPC) has determined that an early adjustment also has to be made for home heat and diesel.

As of 12:01 a.m., Monday, September 29, the maximum price for home heating fuel will drop by 3.23 cents per litre (cpl), and diesel will have a downward movement of 3.6 cpl.

George Saunders, PPPC commissioner, explained that similar to the recent early decline in gasoline prices in Newfoundland and Labrador, the decrease in prices for this fuel on the world market was enough to trigger the commission�s interruption formula (used when fuel prices fluctuate up or down an average of 3.5 cpl over five consecutive business days).

This marks the third time since the interruption formula was introduced March 14 that the PPPC has used it to decrease prices. It has never been used to increase prices for the fuel.

"Distillate fuels were behaving much the same as gasoline on the world market over the past week or so," noted the commissioner. "However, the prices moved much slower and didn�t meet the interruption formula criteria when we were ready to lower gasoline prices this past Thursday. This situation can change at any time. We can only continue to watch the market behaviour closely and make further adjustments if necessary."

Mr. Saunders said the recent downward shift in distillate fuel prices can be attributed to steady increases in supplies, as refineries are making headway in rebuilding their significantly low inventories after last year�s colder than usual winter.

As well, the seasonal demand for the product isn�t yet apparent as North America�s temperatures remain warm for this time of year.

Unless otherwise notified, this price will remain in effect until October 15, 2003.

1. Automotive Fuels - Maximum Retail Pump Prices - Effective September 29, 2003;
2. Heating Fuels - Maximum Tank Wagon (or ** Tank Farm) Prices - Effective September 29, 2003

Media contact: The Petroleum Products Pricing Commission toll free at 1-866-489-8800 or (709) 489 8877.

2003 09 29                                      3:40 p.m.

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