Florida gas prices jump 11 cents, rebounding to pre-pandemic prices
Photo via Community News.

gas station
The jump was unexpected.

The first week of February brought an 11-cent spike in prices at the pump, according to AAA Florida Auto Club data released Monday.

The average gallon of gas now costs about $2.49 per gallon in the Sunshine State. That’s up from about $2.38 the previous week.

The new figure brings Florida’s price per gallon to its highest level since January, 2020, about two months before the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. Prices started to stabilize in the state toward the end of January following some increases at the beginning of the year, but last week saw the biggest spike since prices bottomed out.

Global oil markets are driving much of the increase as the price for crude oil jumped to nearly $57 per barrel in the past week. That’s about $4 more than the week before.

AAA Florida officials acknowledge they did not see the big jump in fuel prices coming.

“Gas prices unexpectedly jumped last week, getting well ahead of where wholesale prices would suggest they’d go,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA Florida. “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,” Jenkins said.

Demands beyond transportation are also driving up the price for fuel. Cold snaps in northern states are increasing demand for heating oil and optimism over the COVID-19 vaccinations is still prompting upbeat outlooks in the fuel industry.

The jump in fuel prices is notable just in the past month as the current price for a gallon of gas in Florida is about 20 cents more than just a month ago. It’s also 8 cents higher than the price of a gallon of gas in Florida a year ago.

West Palm Beach posted the most expensive gas in the state at $2.59 per gallon. Port St. Lucie had the second most expensive gas at $2.52 per gallon followed by Fort Lauderdale at $2.51 per gallon.

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Panama City boasted the most affordable gasoline in Florida at $2.38 per gallon. Tallahassee had the second cheapest gas at $2.39 followed Fort Walton Beach at $2.40.

Florida’s average price for gas ticked up higher than the national average price for a gallon of the fuel in the past week, which was $2.46.

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 [email protected]


One comment

  • maritza

    February 9, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Gas prices and insurance are the two biggest scams going. Unfortunately both industries have the politicians firmly in their back pocket.

Comments are closed.


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