Florida gas prices poised to hit $2 per gallon
Coronavirus fears are reducing travel demand, which is pushing down fuel prices.

gas pump supply (Large)
AAA says workers returning to work after lock down boost gas demand.

Florida gasoline prices appear to be heading back toward the $2-per-gallon mark.

On Monday, the average price per gallon of gas across the state was $1.90, according to Florida AAA — The Auto Club. It’s the highest mark for the Florida average price for gas in nine weeks as prices tumbled during the coronavirus outbreak.

Statewide reopening has many Floridians who lost their jobs in the throes of the pandemic starting to return to work. That, in turn is driving up demand for gasoline.

Gasoline prices increased on average by about 2 cents per gallon in the past week.

“Crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices are rising in response to positive U.S. employment numbers and OPEC’s agreement to extend crude production cuts,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. “Those increases could be passed along to consumers as early as this week. Florida gas prices could rise an average of 5 to 10 cents. If that happens, the state average could hit $2 per gallon for the first time in 10 weeks.”

In the final week of May, AAA officials said a rise in gasoline prices that usually happens in summer m months due to vacationing motorists might have been “stifled” due to widespread uncertainty about the pandemic. Projections were that demand might remain flat due to Floridians who were still worried about the spread of the illness and gas prices might remain sluggish.

But late last week, the U.S. average price for a gallon of gas topped the $2 mark across the county. The national average peaked at $2.02 per gallon, the highest price in 10 weeks.

Florida AAA officials said the price of oil jumped 10% last week as the mark for U.S. crude oil settled at $39.55 per per barrel, a 10-week high. OPEC and allies also announced cuts in oil production by about 10 million barrels per day through July. A federal unemployment report that was more positive than expected also helped bolster fuel prices.

The highest average price for a gallon of gas in Florida Monday was in Miami-Dade County at $2.47 per gallon

The lowest average price for a gallon of gas in Florida could be found in Baker and Pasco counties running at $1.85 per gallon. Multiple counties such as Duval, Orange, Seminole, Lee, Pinellas, Hernando and Jackson counties had prices at the pump running at $1.86 per gallon.

The yearly comparison reflects just how much gas prices have plunged. In June 2019, the average price for a gallon of gas ran at $2.59 in Florida, nationally that figure was $2.75.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at drewdixonwriting@gmail.com.


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