The second week of March saw another pricey jump at the pump in the Sunshine State, according to AAA Florida Auto Club data released Monday.
Gas prices surged another 15 cents last week ending in a state average price for a gallon of gas now at $2.87. That’s the most expensive gas has been in Florida since June of 2018. The past week’s increase is 4 cents more than the increase in the first week of March when gasoline spiked 11 cents per gallon.
AAA Florida officials say multiple factors impacted the increased cost of gasoline. They add the prices are not likely to fall any time soon.
“Global and domestic supply and demand continues to be the story behind rising prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA Florida Auto Club. “Although gas prices normally increase in the spring, the price hike is especially pronounced this year as global crude supplies tighten and domestic refinery issues lead to reduced gasoline supplies.
“Unfortunately, the pain at the pump may get a little worse before it gets better. Gasoline futures and wholesale prices rose another 10 cents late last week. The increase is said to be based on optimism that gasoline demand will continue to grow. It’s possible that increase could cause gas prices to rise again this week, dragging the state average even closer to $3 a gallon,” Jenkins said.
Gas now costs an average of 67 cents more per gallon than the beginning of the year in Florida when the price was $2.20. That’s a 47% increase since 2021 began.
Optimism over the coronavirus vaccine is leading to more Floridians traveling. Meanwhile, the winter storm that slammed the Southern U.S. in mid-February continues to have its impact as oil refinery operations dropped about 32% in those states.
The most expensive fuel can be found in South Florida. West Palm Beach recorded the most expensive gas prices in the past week at $2.97 per gallon on average. Miami had the second most expensive fuel at $2.91 and Ft. Lauderdale followed that at $2.90.
Florida’s Panhandle cornered the state market for the cheapest gas in the state. Pensacola had the cheapest gas at $2.80 per average gallon followed by Fort Walton Beach and Panama City at $2.81.
Florida’s average price for a gallon of gas, for the first time in weeks, exceeded the national average, which was $2.85 in the past week.