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Corona Economics

Florida gasoline prices drop again

COVID-19 continues its grip at the pump.

Fuel prices in Florida declined again last week after surging the week prior, according to Florida AAA, the Auto Club Group.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the state in the past seven days dropped by about 3 cents per gallon. The average price for a gallon of gas around Florida now runs about $2.13.

The previous week, gas prices jumped 10 cents a gallon, bringing prices then to a 20-week high.

Gas prices plummeted in March and April after the coronavirus pandemic gripped the state. In some places in Florida gas prices dropped below $1 per gallon. Then, as it seemed the COVID-19 outbreak was on the wane, gas prices increased in May and June.

Even at the end of June, gas prices started to drop again as a resurgence of the pandemic exploded in Florida. July’s gas prices vacillated for most of the month and that trend continues into August.

“Florida drivers continue to enjoy unusually low gas prices for this time of year,” said Mark Jenkins, Florida AAA spokesman. “The cost for a full tank of gas is about $5 less than it was this time last year.”

“The pandemic’s effect on fuel demand continues to weigh on crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices, preventing any monumental gains. Low oil prices make it cheaper to produce and sell gasoline.”

Summer months usually bring higher prices at the pump because Florida residents are usually traveling more, but the COVID-19 pandemic has been stymied many summer vacations.

In turn, oil production has been tepid.

Florida AAA reports world crude oil prices have hovered around $41 per barrel for the past six weeks. A year ago, that price was $54 per barrel, a 30% difference.

Florida’s current price per gallon of gas is about 50 cents lower than a year ago.

The most expensive gas in the state was found in West Palm Beach at $2.23 per gallon followed by Gainesville at $2.16 and Fort Lauderdale at $2.15.

The cheapest gas was in Punta Gorda at $2.05 per gallon followed by Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola, both at $2.08.

Florida is still below the national average for a gallon of gas which is about $2.18. A month ago, a gallon of gas cost about $2.11 per gallon and a year ago it was $2.46 per gallon in Florida.

Written By

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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