Florida gas prices fall heading into Memorial Day weekend

Florida gas prices take a dip heading into Memorial Day weekend
Image via Drew Dixon.

Sunshine State gas prices rebound after pipeline disruption.
Motorists can expect to pay more than last year, but less than the spike just a couple weeks ago.

There’s good news for Florida motorists heading into the Memorial Day holiday break, with gasoline prices in the Sunshine State on the decline, according to Florida AAA Auto Club data released Monday.

Gas prices dropped over the past week in Florida, the first decrease in more than three weeks. It wasn’t much, but the average price for a gallon of gas statewide fell about 2 cents to $2.87. Gas prices began to spike in the middle of May due to the Colonial Pipeline disruption.

Suspected Russian hackers shut down much of that pipeline, which serves swaths of the eastern seaboard of the United States. The move sparked panic buying at many gas stations in multiple states. But Florida, which gets most of its gas from its many ports, was spared much of the ensuing shortage and prices increased by just about a dime one week before stabilizing.

Florida AAA officials say it’s likely gas prices will remain stable heading into Memorial Day weekend.

“Unless pump prices suddenly rise this week, holiday travelers will find gas prices that are slightly below what they paid on Memorial Day 2018,” said Mark Jenkins, Florida AAA spokesperson. “While expectations of strong holiday fuel demand can carry the potential for causing higher pump prices, wholesale gasoline prices dropped 5 cents last week. That means gas prices could drift lower as the weekend approaches, but things can change quickly in the fuel market.”

Monday’s average price across the state is about a dollar more than a year ago when Florida and the nation were at the heigh of the coronavirus pandemic. The current price for a gallon of gas in the state is about 27 cents more than it was in 2019 and about 4 cents less than in 2018.

Florida AAA officials said earlier this month they expect a robust return to road travel Memorial Day weekend as many residents are shedding travel reluctance due to increased vaccinations and somewhat normalized guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.

The most expensive gas in the state in the past week could be found in Panama City at $3.05 per average gallon. That was followed by Boca Raton at $3.01 and Tallahassee at $2.99.

Punta Gorda recorded the cheapest gas in the state at $2.79 followed by Orlando at $2.81 and Jacksonville and Tampa at $2.82.

Florida gas prices were still less than the national average in the past week, which was about $3.04 per gallon.

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]


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