Gasoline prices in Florida have taken another jump, pushing past $3 on average.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline hit $3.01, AAA — The Auto Club Group reported Tuesday. In some Florida cities, drivers were paying more than $3.10 per gallon, coming out of the busy Independence Day Weekend.
The statewide average is 7 cents per gallon more than a week earlier, yet 15 cents less than a month earlier. The state average is 90 cents more than this time last year, when gasoline prices had plummeted due to low demand because of the coronavirus crisis.
Get used to it, AAA advised.
“Florida drivers continue to feel the effects of rising crude oil prices, which have made it more expensive to produce gasoline,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins stated in a news release. “Oil prices have surged nearly 60% this year, as global fuel demand outpaces the recovery in supplies. Unfortunately, these pump prices will likely hang around through the summer, unless fundamentals change.
“Tropical Storm Elsa is not expected to impact prices at the pump,” Jenkins added.
Nationally, gas was pumping for $3.13 a gallon, on average.
The longterm effects of the pandemic continue to impact gas prices, now driving them higher.
Last year, during the pandemic, many fuel-producing countries reduced crude oil output, due to plummeting fuel demand. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, America’s production levels dropped a total of 24% from January 2020 to August 2020. Although U.S. production levels have bounced back from mid-2020 lows, they remain 15% below pre-pandemic levels. Reopening rigs can take time due to staffing and other logistics.
As a result of this shift in fundamentals, U.S. crude oil prices have soared from $47 per barrel in January to $75 last week. The last time crude prices exceeded $75 per barrel was a brief period in October 2018.
According to AAA, Florida’s best gas deals can be found in the Fort Myers-Cape Coral market, where drivers were treated to an average price of $2.97 per gallon.
Drivers in Panama City, though, are paying $3.13. And in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, gas costs $3.12 a gallon.
Gas pumps displayed prices at $2.98 a gallon in Punta Gorda, Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, and Pensacola; $2.99 in Orlando; $3 in Tampa and Sarasota; $3.01 in Miami and Naples; and $3.03 in Tallahassee and Gainesville.