Florida gas prices took a “surprising leap” over the past week, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose by 11 cents, putting a $2.49 per gallon price tag at the pump for Florida drivers. The jump at the pump marks the most expensive prices for consumers in over a year.
“Gas prices unexpectedly jumped last week, getting well ahead of where wholesale prices would suggest they’d go,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “Regardless, early-month pump price hikes are something we’ve seen many times during the past year. The moves are often caused by retailers that enter into new monthly gasoline delivery contracts. If the new contract is higher than the month before, the added expense is often front-loaded, when passed along to the consumer. In many cases during recent months, pump prices rose at the beginning of the month, but trickled down from there.”
AAA also noted that crude oil prices bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, rising to nearly $57 per barrel last Friday — the most expensive oil price since Jan. 2020. Jenkins noted that while the lingering pandemic plays a part in the elevated prices, colder weather up North also plays a part in the uptick.
“The gasoline market is also following the lead set by oil prices,” Jenkins continued. “Although, the fuel market is still worried about Covid-19 cases, there are other factors that are providing optimism in the market. Cold weather across the Northern Hemisphere has boosted demand for heating oil, an element refined from crude. The anticipated stimulus bill is expected to put more money in Americans’ pockets, which could encourage spending. Globally, there’s hope that continued production cuts from OPEC and its allies will create a fuel supply deficit through 2021.”
Metro areas like West Palm Beach and Boca Raton ($2.59), Port St. Lucie ($2.52), and Fort Lauderdale ($2.51) saw the highest gas prices in the state, while cities like Panama City ($2.38), Tallahassee ($2.39), and Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($2.40) posted some of the lowest prices.
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