OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 30, 2014) - Natural Resources Canada and Industry Canada
The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, today issued the following statement on the release of the final report on Canada's Propane Market:
"We would like to thank the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Competition Bureau for their work in undertaking this comprehensive analysis of North American propane products. This review was requested in February in response to a shortage of propane and increasing prices this past winter. The results of this report will help us better understand the complex nature of the supply and demand situation for propane in Canada.
"We sympathize with Canadians who were affected by the issues with the availability and pricing of propane this past winter, given the importance of this commodity to heat their homes. Fortunately, market conditions and prices have improved considerably, and there were no findings of longer-term market issues that would cause a repeat of last winter's events.
"In conducting this rigorous investigation, the NEB and the Competition Bureau used data from a broad range of sources from both Canada and the United States, including interviews with 68 market participants from all parts of the propane supply chain.
"The report notes that while propane consumers did experience price fluctuations, there was no evidence to suggest that anti-competitive behaviour had an impact on recent propane price spikes. Should the Bureau become aware of behaviour that contravenes the Competition Act, it will take appropriate action.
"The examination found that this winter's prices and supply shortages are not indicative of long-term supply-demand imbalances in the Canadian propane industry. Short-term propane prices have historically been volatile due to a combination of steady annual supply and seasonal fluctuations in demand, and last winter's events were the result of a combination of unusual events including unseasonably cold weather and unusually low inventories heading into the winter heating season. Suppliers base their purchasing decisions on expectations of variables such as weather, and since weather is not perfectly predictable, temporary fluctuations in price can occur.
"This report is an indication of the importance the Government of Canada places on this issue and should help propane market participants and consumers take the necessary actions to avoid events such as those experienced this past winter.
"As the report indicates, provincial governments are responsible for the distribution and regulation of prices of propane within provincial boundaries. The federal government will continue to work closely with our provincial counterparts to ensure secure and affordable supplies of energy for Canadians."
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