Gas prices dip another 3 cents, but window for big drop may be closing
Image via Drew Dixon.

Prices should fall a little more, but not below $3 anytime soon.

Florida gas prices dropped another three cents per gallon in the past week to an average Monday of $3.27 per gallon, but the prospects for a more significant decline may be dwindling.

That’s the latest advisory from AAA — The Auto Club Group. Global market prices for crude oil fell significantly in late November over concerns about the new COVID-19 omicron variant, and many analysts expected a similar fall for retail gasoline prices. AAA had predicted a potential drop of 20-30 cents per gallon.

But that hasn’t materialized, with prices dipping just three or four cents per week. Now global crude oil prices are going back up.

About half of the global oil price drop was erased last week as omicron concerns seemed to ease. After falling from $78 per barrel down to $65 two weeks ago, the price of crude settled back up at $71.67 on Friday.

Despite the increase, oil prices are still lower than they were two weeks ago, and pump prices have still not yet fully adjusted, AAA said.

“After plunging two weeks ago, the crude market regained strength last week,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “As a result, that 20-30 cent drop we were anticipating could be more like 10-20 cents. Oil prices remain the main drivers of prices at the pump. So if oil prices increase again this week, drivers will again need to adjust their expectations.”

Pump prices are slowly declining. The state average slipped a total of 10 cents in the past 23 days. Florida drivers are now paying an average price of $3.27 per gallon — the lowest daily average price since mid-November.

AAA reported the best prices in Florida early Monday in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach market, where drivers are paying an average of $3.14. The Villages follow at $3.16, Punta Gorda, $3.17; Pensacola, $3.19; Tampa, $3.22; Jacksonville, $3.23; and Orlando, $3.25.

The highest prices continue to be found in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton Market, where AAA reported an average of $3.44 per gallon. After that comes Naples at $3.35; Fort Lauderdale, $3.33;  St. Petersburg and Sarasota, $3.28; and Miami, $3.27.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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