Florida gas prices rise again — and they may keep surging

State average has jumped 53 cents since Jan. 1

(Pixabay)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Prices at the pump keep climbing and don’t expect this week to be any different.

Florida’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.72 on Monday morning, the most expensive it’s been since May 2019, according to the American Automobile Association.

Trends point to the cost of gas reaching even higher.

“Florida gas prices could rise again this week,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA. “Crude oil prices surged last week after OPEC and its allies announced plans to extend production cuts beyond April. The move piles more upward pressure on pump prices that were already responding to power outages at petroleum plants in the U.S. It’s possible gas prices could rise another 10 cents as early as Monday.”

Florida’s average price climbed 11 cents last week and has jumped 26 cents since the middle of February when the arctic blast knocked out power at oil refineries in Texas and around the Gulf Coast. Many of those refineries are still working to return to full operations, AAA says.

Florida’s gas price has gone up more than half a buck (53 cents) since Jan. 1.

In a news release, Jenkins listed five reasons we’re seeing such a steep increase:

  • Tightening global crude oil supplies. OPEC and its allies plan to extend crude oil production cuts, to further tighten supplies and pressure fuel prices higher.
  • Lower gasoline supplies. Domestic gasoline supplies have declined due to power outages at U.S. crude oil refineries caused by arctic weather.
  • Rising gasoline demand. Speculation within the fuel market is that COVID-19 vaccines and stimulus money will entice people to drive more.
  • Summer gasoline moving into the market. This gasoline blend has more components — required by the EPA — and is more expensive to produce.
  • Geopolitical tensions in Syria. Missile strikes to oil refineries and loading docks in Syria could cause additional concerns in the fuel market about less crude oil in the global market.

Patrick De Haan, who tracks gasoline prices for GasBuddy, pointed out in a tweet that the nation’s demand for gasoline is the highest its been since the COVID-19 pandemic started, as vaccines become more widespread.

We’re certainly not getting a break in South Florida, where prices are higher than the state average.

The average gallon of regular unleaded gas on Monday morning cost:

  • $2.734 in Miami-Dade County
  • $2.751 in Broward County
  • $2.787 in Monroe County
  • $2.828 in Palm Beach County

The national average gas price Monday morning is 2.774, according to AAA.

For more info on Florida gas prices, click here.