Gas prices in Florida continue to climb with a new study from AAA showing the rose 11 cents a gallon last week to $2.49, the highest in more than a year.
AAA released the report on Sunday which shed some light on the continued price increase at the pumps even as gas is more expensive in Florida than across the nation as the national average stood at $2.48 a gallon to start the week.
“Prices at the pump are now the most expensive in more than a year. The state average is now the highest since January 2020. During that time, the price of crude was sitting at the same level it is now,” AAA noted. “Crude oil prices have also bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. The price for U.S. crude rose to nearly $57 per barrel on Friday; the most expensive oil price since January 2020. Friday’s settlement of $56.85/b is $4 per barrel more than the week before. A 9 percent shift like that would typically lead to a 10 cent shift at the pump, as a higher oil price raises the cost for producing gasoline.”
“Gas prices unexpectedly jumped last week, getting well ahead of where wholesale prices would suggest they’d go,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group. “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.
“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.”
The West Palm Beach–Boca Raton area had the most expensive gas in the state with an average of $2.59 a gallon followed by Port St. Lucie at $2.52 a gallon and Fort Lauderdale at $2.51 a gallon.
Panama City had the least expensive gas in the state at $2.38 a gallon followed by Tallahassee at $2.39 a gallon and the Crestview–Fort Walton Beach area at $2.40 a gallon.