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Coronavirus fears are reducing travel demand, which is pushing down fuel prices.

APolitical

Gas prices plunge, but trade worries loom over holidays

Will Chinese trade accord cost you at the pump? Open question.

Florida gas prices are down six cents week over week, but questions loom about how long that relief at the pump will last.

AAA – The Auto Club Group reports that prices are down to $2.46 a gallon on average across the state.

Average declines for nine days have led to an eight cent drop over that period.

However, the good times may not last forever, asserts AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.

The “Phase One” trade accord between China and the United States, which lowers tariffs against China in exchange for allowing more U.S. imports, caused crude oil prices to crest the $60 mark on Friday.

As regular readers of these stories know, crude price hikes one week usually lead to higher gas prices the next.

But don’t stock up on gasoline yet.

“It’s too early to know just how much of an impact this preliminary US-China trade agreement will have on local prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group.

“Without it,” Jenkins advised, “gas prices would certainly continue falling. Gasoline supplies have grown considerably in the past five weeks, while demand has entered its seasonal slowdown. It’s certainly possible these fundamentals outweigh the impacts of the trade agreement, and push gas prices even lower through the end of the year; but if crude prices see significant gains this week, pump prices will reverse course.”

West Palm Beach area residents are spending the most per gallon currently, with $2.57 being the average price. Sebring and Gainesville are five and six cents below that.

Best value in the state: the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater market, where gas is just $2,38 a gallon on average. Punta Gorda and Pensacola are just two cents above that, also providing pump value.

With Holiday travel on tap for many, a few cents at the pump can make a difference. Crude prices this week will give some indication as to gas station prices the next.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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