Florida gasoline prices dropped slightly in the past week, staving off a $3 per gallon price tag at the pump that had been in sight, according to AAA Florida Auto Club data released Monday.
The average price for a gallon of gas in the Sunshine State dropped about 2 cents in the past week to $2.88. The decrease, while slight, is the first time gas prices dropped in several weeks. Gas has increased on a weekly basis for most of 2021 with some weekly spikes as high as 15 cents per gallon.
But AAA Florida officials say there may be a downward trend on prices at the pump after three months of increases. Crude oil prices on the global market are heading downward and the cargo ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal in the Middle East is about to be dislodged entirely.
“The blockage in the Suez Canal appears to be the only thing keeping upward pressure on prices at the moment,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA Florida spokesman. “Wholesale gasoline prices are still down 20 cents from two weeks ago. So drivers could see gas prices slip even lower, unless the blockage at the canal raises supply concerns and the price of oil.”
While optimism over COVID-19 vaccinations have driven much of the price surge in gas so far this year, there is now hesitation as many European countries are tracking what appears to be another surge in the pandemic. That has contributed to the sliding prices in oil on the global market. World oil prices were at $61 per barrel Friday.
Meanwhile, Floridians are still paying about 89 cents more per gallon than a year ago when the COVID-19 outbreak fully throttled the state by the end of March. The current average price is the lowest price in 10 days in Florida.
South Florida reported the highest gas prices at $3 per gallon in West Palm Beach followed by Miami at $2.92 and Fort Lauderdale at $2.91.
Punta Gorda saw the cheapest gas at $2.79 followed by Jacksonville at $2.83 and Fort Walton Beach at $2.84.
Florida still has a higher average cost of gas than the national average, which stands at $2.87 per gallon.