Gas prices rose 12 cents per gallon last week — the highest spike the Sunshine State has seen since Sept. 1 — before falling by 2 cents by the weekend.
Average costs at the pump in Florida increased from $3.46 per gallon last Monday to $3.58 Thursday, according to a report from AAA — The Auto Club Group.
By Friday, the average gas price slipped to $3.56, where it remained Monday morning. The average full, 15-gallon tank of gas now costs $53.40.
“Oil and wholesales gasoline prices took a step back last week, which should cause gas prices to plateau.”
Since the end of Florida’s one-month gas tax holiday on Nov. 1, Florida’s average gas price jumped by as much as 29 cents per gallon.
The state’s over-the-weekend average cost of $3.56 was still roughly 22 cents cheaper than the national average of $3.78 but still 39 cents pricier than in its neighbor state of Georgia.
Metro markets in Florida with the most expensive gas included West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.70), Gainesville ($3.62) and Homosassa Springs ($3.60). The cheapest fuel could be found in Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.27), Pensacola ($3.32) and Panama City ($3.33).
National oil prices dropped slightly in recent days due to a stronger U.S. dollar and after a surge in COVID-19 cases across several major cities in China, the world’s largest crude importer, slowed demand.
Futures for Brent, the leading global price benchmark for Atlantic basin crude oils, fell 1.07% to $94.96 a barrel Monday after rising 1.1% three days before. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 1.25% to $87.84 per barrel after closing Friday at 2.9% higher.
Those Friday rallies came after China’s National Health Commission shortened pandemic quarantine times for people potentially exposed to COVID-19 and inbound travelers. The NHC also eliminated penalties for airlines that fly in infected passengers.
But China’s COVID-19 positivity rate grew over the weekend, with cities like Beijing logging record infections. Consequently, the country’s demand for oil from top-producing Saudi Arabia remained weak.