Last week saw another jump in the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Florida, according to AAA Florida Auto Club data released Monday.
The cost for a gallon of gas jumped 5 cents in the past week. The average price is now up to $2.91 per gallon. It’s the first time the average gas price has exceeded $2.90 in nearly three years, with prices not hitting that mark since May of 2018.
It also marks a sharp increase in gas prices since the beginning of the year. Prices have climbed 70 cents since the beginning of the year.
Multiple factors are contributing to increasing prices at the pump, including optimism over the coronavirus vaccine, which is leading to more people hitting the roads in Florida. But oil refinery production reductions among OPEC nations in the Middle East, along with decreased output at U.S. Southeastern states due to a brutal winter storm in February, have also led to spikes in global oil markets.
Florida AAA officials say the upward trend could ease soon.
“The good news for motorists is that gas prices could soon begin to slip lower,” said AAA Florida spokesperson Mark Jenkins. “Data suggests that refinery operations are improving and gasoline supplies are increasing. Wholesale gasoline prices dropped nearly 20 cents last week. It’s unlikely that drivers will see such a dramatic swing at the pump, but it’s an indication that lower prices should be on the way.”
World oil prices already appear to be on the wane as the price per barrel dropped about 10% in the past week. Friday’s world crude oil price fell to $61.42 per barrel, down from $66.09 the previous week, a two-year high.
Florida’s Gulf Coast recorded the cheapest gas prices in the past week, with Punta Gorda showing the least expensive average gallon of gas at $2.86, followed by Fort Walton at $2.87 and Pensacola at $2.88.
South Florida cornered the market on the most expensive fuel, with West Palm Beach cracking the $3 mark at $3.01 per gallon. Fort Lauderdale and Miami were tied for the second most expensive at $2.93 per gallon.
For the second week in a row, Florida’s price for gas exceeded the national average of $2.88 per gallon.