Gasoline prices in Florida soared last week, setting a new record of $4.50 per gallon Monday morning, according to AAA-The Auto Club Group.
The latest apex easily surpasses the $4.38 mark set in March, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine and sent worldwide oil and gas prices into chaos. The old, pre-2022 record price of a gallon of gasoline in Florida was $4.08, set back in 2008.
Florida’s average price jumped about 32 cents in the past week, AAA noted. The state average is now $1.60 per gallon higher than a year ago.
Florida’s average price is now more expensive than the national average, which was $4.48 on Monday, AAA reported.
New records are likely to continue to be set in coming weeks.
“Drivers are dealing with unprecedented pain at the pump and things could soon get worse before they get better,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA-The Auto Club Group, in a news release Monday. “We saw more big gains in the gasoline futures market late last week, which could trickle down to yet another 10- to 20-cent jump at the pump in the near future.”
AAA reported global fuel supplies are tight, keeping pressure on oil prices, but global oil prices are not at record highs, which were set in early 2020. Still, the price of U.S. oil closed at $110 per barrel Friday, 69% higher than 12 months ago.
American gasoline supplies are falling, dropping 6% over the past six weeks, while American gasoline exports have increased 20% compared with this time in 2019. That’s due to strong international demand for gasoline. The increased competition has driven up the bidding price for fuel, AAA reported.
American oil production remains down, at a rate of 11.8 million barrels a day, which is 10% below the pre-pandemic record high of 13.1 million barrels a day.
Now the United States is bracing for a big summer travel season, with the demand for gasoline being stronger than last year, AAA stated.
The end result: Florida drivers now are paying averages of between $4.27 per gallon and $4.64, depending on where they live.
Florida’s cheapest gas was found Monday in Pensacola, where drivers saw an average of $4.27 Monday morning, according to AAA. That was followed by Panama City at $4.30; Tallahassee at $4.46; Titusville-Melbourne at $4.47; Jacksonville and Fort Myers at $4.48; and Orlando and St. Petersburg at $4.50.
Florida’s most expensive gas was found in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market at $4.64 Monday. That was followed by Fort Lauderdale at $4.55; Miami at $4.53; Naples at $4.52; and Tampa at $4.51.