FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida gas prices jumped another 15 cents per gallon over the past week, and experts predict that yet another hike could be coming this week.
Floridians were paying an average of $2.87 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Monday morning, the highest since June 2018 according to the American Automobile Association.
“Global and domestic supply and demand continues to be the story behind rising prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA. “Although gas prices normally increase in the spring, the price hike is especially pronounced this year, as global crude supplies tighten and domestic refinery issues lead to reduced gasoline supplies.
“Unfortunately, the pain at the pump may get a little worse before it gets better. Gasoline futures and wholesale prices rose another 10 cents late last week. The increase is said to be based on optimism that gasoline demand will continue to grow. It’s possible that increase could cause gas prices to rise again this week, dragging the state average even closer to $3 a gallon.”
Florida’s average price has gone up 67 cents per gallon since beginning the year at $2.20. The main driver of that increase, Jenkins says, has been the price of crude oil, which increased nearly 40% since Jan. 1.
The national average price per gallon on Monday morning was $2.86.
South Florida’s gas prices are higher than the state and national averages. According to AAA, on Monday morning the average cost was:
$2.917 in Miami-Dade County
$2.972 in Palm Beach County
For more info on Florida gas prices, click here
AAA released the following breakdown of factors contributing to rising gas prices this year:
Tightening global crude oil supplies. OPEC+ and other countries reduced production during the past year to soak up the glut that was left by the pandemic. OPEC+ recently announced plans to extend production cuts beyond April.
Tightening domestic gasoline supplies. Gasoline supplies dropped 10% in the past two weeks, following the mid-February arctic blast that caused power outages to refineries in Texas and other states. U.S. refinery operations dropped 32%, according to the EIA. Although refineries are working to ramp up operations, they’re still down 17%.
Rising demand. Gasoline demand climbed 20% in the past two weeks, according to data from the EIA. That figure remains 15% below pre-pandemic levels.
Market optimism. Investors have become extremely optimistic about the long-term future of gasoline demand. The belief is that as vaccinations become more widespread, Americans will be more confident about a return to normal driving and travel habits. Struggling supplies is an added incentive for buyers.