While gas prices are the lowest they have been in Florida for four months, AAA expects prices at the pump to start going up again this week thanks in large part to a surge in crude oil prices which increased almost $5 a barrel last week.
AAA released a study on Monday showing the average gallon of gas in Florida cost $2.43, well below the national average of $2.66 a gallon and down from $2.50 a gallon at the start of last week. But crude oil productions went from below $52 a barrel at the start of last week to $57.43 a barrel on Friday.
With rising tensions with Iran and a major fire at a refinery in Philadelphia–the largest refinery on the East Coast–AAA expects prices to move higher in the last days of June. Prices are also being impacted by a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing a slight decline in both the supply and production of crude oil.
“Florida drivers could see gas prices rise 5-10 cents this week, due to both domestic and international issues that caused oil prices to spike,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group, on Monday. “However, it’s unclear just how long this upward pressure will stick around, and whether things will worsen or get better this week. Even if the state average rises above $2.50, drivers would still be paying 20 cents per gallon less than this time last year.”
Panama City had the most expensive gas in Florida at $2.58 a gallon followed by the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market and Naples which both saw prices of $2.54 a gallon. Punta Gorda had the least expensive gas in Florida at $2.34 a gallon followed by Jacksonville and Orlando at $2.35 a gallon.
So far in 2019, gas prices in Florida have fluctuated from a high of almost $2.80 in April to a low of $2.12 a gallon in January.