Gas prices continued to surge in the past week, jumping 11 cents on average in the Sunshine State, according to AAA Florida Auto Club data released Monday.
Gas now costs about $2.72 per gallon across the state. While prices stabilized the last week of February, a gallon of gas jumped about 24 cents for the entire month. The first week of March is extending that trend as optimism about the coronavirus vaccine and oil production reductions in the Middle East remain major factors in the rising prices.
Florida’s price for the average gallon of gas is now 26 cents more than mid-February when a massive winter storm blasted the Southeastern U.S. and hampered oil refinery production in several of those states.
So far, 2021 has seen a 53-cent increase in the price of a gallon of gas in Florida. AAA Florida officials say the trend of increasing prices at the pump will likely go higher before prices see any substantial decreases.
“Florida gas prices could rise again this week,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA Florida. “Crude oil prices surged last week after OPEC and its allies announced plans to extend production cuts beyond April.
“The move piles more upward pressure on pump prices that were already responding to power outages at petroleum plants in the U.S. It’s possible gas prices could rise another 10 cents as early as Monday,” Jenkins said.
The international price for crude oil reached $66.09 per barrel as of Friday. That’s $4.59 more than the previous week and the highest mark so far this year.
The state average is about 25 cents more than a month ago when it was $2.48 per gallon and nearly half a dollar more than a year ago when that figure was $2.29 as the COVID-19 pandemic began to grip Florida.
The highest price for gas in the past week was in West Palm Beach at $2.83 per gallon followed by Fort Lauderdale at $2.75 and Port St. Lucie at $2.74.
The state’s cheapest gas could be found in Punta Gorda at $2.67 followed by Jacksonville at $2.68 and Fort Meyers at $2.69.
Florida’s gas prices are still lower than the national average, which is now about $2.76 per gallon across the country.