The price of oil suffered steep losses last week, enabling the price of gasoline to back off from record highs.
The state average price for gasoline is on a nine-day streak of declines, dropping a total of 20 cents per gallon. On Sunday, drivers in Florida paid an average price of $4.18 per gallon, down from $4.35 a gallon at the start of last week and below the national average of $4.23 a gallon.
“The oil market remains extremely volatile, after seeing big swings in both directions during the past few weeks,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group. “Last weekend, oil prices dropped on demand concerns regarding a COVID outbreak in China, which resulted in lockdowns. By the end of the week, oil prices charged higher again as global crude supply concerns – regarding the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict – moved back to the forefront. Fortunately, oil prices are well below the high we saw more than a week ago. This should enable gas prices to slip lower this week, unless oil suddenly spikes again.”
Two weeks ago, fuel prices surged after Russia invaded Ukraine. The U.S. price of oil reached a 2022 high of $123.70 per barrel. That $32 price increase resulted in a 90 cent jump at the pump. Since then, the price of oil has pinballed lower, hitting a low of $95.04/b on Wednesday before bouncing back up to $104.70/b on Friday.
Friday’s closing price of $104.70/b is still $19/b less than the 2022 high of $123.70/b. Nineteen dollars is the equivalent to a 45 cent swing at the pump. So far, gas prices have dropped 20 cents per gallon, so another 25 cent discount is possible. That is unless oil prices move higher again this week. As of this writing, the U.S. price of oil was trading $3/b higher than Friday’s settlement. If that increase holds, it would erase 5-10 cents from the potential 25 cent price drop.
The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton had the most expensive gas in the state with an average of $4.35 a gallon followed by Fort Lauderdale at $4.28 a gallon and Miami at $4.27 a gallon.
Punta Gorda and the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach area had the least expensive gas in the state at $4.08 a gallon followed by Orlando at $4.10 a gallon.
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