Gas prices fall in Florida in midst of coronavirus fears, setting a new 2020 low
Coronavirus fears are reducing travel demand, which is pushing down fuel prices.

gas pump supply (Large)
Pump prices collapse for several weeks running.

Prices at 11% of Florida gas stations have dipped below $2 a gallon — a trend that may be the new normal.

AAA – The Auto Club Group believes increased supply from Saudi Arabia and the coronavirus economy will continue to drive a pump price decline.

“Low pump prices are likely to get even lower this week,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group.

“The combination of the coronavirus and the ongoing price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia are contributing to some of the lowest futures prices since the Great Recession,” Jenkins added.

“Oil prices plunged early last week after Saudi Arabia pledged to flood the market with oil. As oil prices bottomed at around $33,” Jenkins added, “gasoline futures continued to fall throughout the week.”

“The effects of the coronavirus snowballed. Cancelled flights and large events, school closures, and companies asking employees to work from home lead to less fuel demand,” Jenkins said.

AAA notes that prices plunged 22 cents in the past 18 days.

The average price: $2.17 per gallon, is low by every comparison. It’s down 11 cents in the last week, 44 cents since this time last year, and 39 cents off 2020’s peak.

“Although the average price for gasoline in Florida is $2.17, many drivers are paying much less,” Jenkins continued. “More drops are coming this week. Retail prices are still catching up to big drops in wholesale and gasoline futures prices. Unless those prices suddenly bounce back, it’s likely that the state average will soon dip below $2 a gallon.”

Those futures drops show the floor may not have been found.

“Friday’s closing price was 90 cents per gallon; nearly 50 cents less than the week before, and the lowest daily settlement since December 2008.”

West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.34), Gainesville (2.32), Tallahassee ($2.27) were among the most expensive markets in the state and have resisted the clarion call of sub $2 gas. Still, prices will continue to drop even there.

A.G. Gancarski

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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