Sep 20, 2009

Prices of Different Liquids

I stumbled across this post through a friend today, it is very interesting. I decided to actually dig a little deeper and see if these things are as they say they are.

I was unable to find a price on human blood, penicillin, and the 3M PF-5030 (which is a refrigerant), but I got a price on everything else. Note that all of this is done using CAD and prices as of today (Sept. 20, 2009).

Crude Oil:
Using the price from here (Bloomberg, converting USD to CAD using Google) of $76.63 CAD per barrel, and the volume of a barrel (Wikipedia) of 158 987 mL you get $0.00048/mL.

By the time that gets to your car, if we use $1.00/L which is what it seems to be hovering at in Quebec, that's $0.001/mL.

Bottled Water:
This one I guesstimated the price of a bottle of water at around $1.60 for a 500mL bottle, so that makes $0.0032/mL - 6.67 times the price of the crude oil.

Red Bull:
Also guesstimated at $2.99 for a 250mL can, giving $0.012/mL.

Using the price of the most expensive one at the SAQ called Belvedere (SAQ) which gives $42.75 for a 750mL bottle we get $0.057/mL.

Finally (since I skipped a bunch) we have HP #45, which is their normal black ink. The price is $42.77 (NCIX) for a 42mL cartridge, giving $1.02/mL.

So printer ink is 1020 times more expensive than the gas you put in your car. Yikes!

Note: These numbers are not 100% accurate since some of these have taxes factored in and others do not.


Guillaume Theoret said...

Alcohol is taxed WAY more than that. Which is why the prices displayed include tax. If it didn't it would make people mad.

Gas at the pump is heavily taxed too though so its unfair to reduce the price of vodka but not the price at the pump.

Rob Britton said...

Ah yeah, I forgot about all those other taxes. Alright, I'll remove the blurb about taxes on vodka.

snogglethorpe said...

This comparison is fun, but it's not necessarily all that meaningful, because it seems to ignore the quantities needed in average use.

Oil/gasoline, after all, is used in huge quantities, even by the average joe, whereas he's hopefully a bit less profligate with red bull or vodka!

So it seems that a more reasonable comparison would take typical usage into account; perhaps price per amount used by an average user in a given time period, or a range. Obviously such numbers are far more variable, but that seems a reasonable price to pay for more relevant results.

Anonymous said...

The point with redbull is that you're not paying for the literal liquid in the can, you're paying for a brand, packaging, etc.. If anything the actual liquid is much, much less than this price.