AAA released a report this week showing the average gallon of gas in Florida cost $3.17 on Sunday, the highest average since October 2014.
The report found gas prices surging 12 cents since the start of last week due to continued increases in the prices of crude oil. The national average stood at $3.27 a gallon on Sunday.
“The recent jump at the pump is directly tied to rising futures prices,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group. “The higher crude price raises the cost of producing gasoline. Unfortunately, it’s not clear when these prices will come back down.”
AAA offered its take on the reasons why gas prices are rising.
“The price of US crude jumped 5 percent last week. For context, crude rarely exceeded $75 per barrel this year. However, on Friday, it briefly traded above $80, before ultimately settling at $79.31. That was the highest daily settlement since October 2014,” AAA noted. “What’s moving the market right now are concerns of what would happen if this winter is colder than normal. The issue is, natural gas prices in Europe and Asia have tripled – to a level that would be the equivalent of oil prices reaching $200 per barrel. This has speculators worried that the countries affected would turn to the oil market for heating and power generation. An oil market that is already extremely tight on supplies. Last year, global production declined, after the pandemic caused fuel demand to collapse. This year, demand has rebounded, but oil producers have not kept pace. Prior to the pandemic, the global market was oversupplied. Now demand outpaces supply.
Fortunately, the U.S. may be shielded from the natural gas crunch, since U.S. supplies are strong and very little of it is typically exported. Unfortunately, the U.S. is not shielded by the tightness in the crude market – which has always been influenced by global factors,” AAA added.
The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area had the most expensive gas in Florida with an average of $3.32 a gallon followed by Fort Lauderdale at $3.21 a gallon and Port St. Lucie at $3.20 a gallon. Pensacola had the least expensive gas in the state with an average of $3.12 a gallon followed by the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach market, Jacksonville and Punta Gorda all at $3.14 a gallon.
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