Delta variant could drop gas prices 20 cents

(Robert F. Bukaty, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Gas prices have been an indicator of consumer confidence throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and with the delta variant surging COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, experts predict we’ll see a significant drop in what we pay at the pump.

Fuel prices typically begin to drop at the end of the summer, as drivers hit the brakes on road trips and return to their normal routines, but the American Automobile Association forecasts a more drastic plunge in gas prices in the coming weeks than usual.

“The delta strain of COVID-19 continues to drive fuel prices,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “The busy summer driving season ends in September and market watchers are worried that COVID-19 will cause demand to drop more dramatically than it has in previous years. If crude oil and gasoline futures hold at current levels, prices at the pump could drop more than 20 cents per gallon in the weeks to come.”

Florida’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline sat at $2.98 to begin this week, a 3-cent drop from a week prior, according to AAA.

Jenkins added that the price of U.S. crude dropped nearly 10% last week and gasoline futures dropped 12%. Wholesale gas prices haven’t been this low since April, AAA data shows.

The national average gas price on Monday morning is $3.16. Patrick De Haan, who analyzes fuel prices for the website GasBuddy, projects that the national average could creep below $3 “by just after Labor Day.”

South Florida’s gas prices have been sitting between the state and national averages.

Across the region, the average prices are as follows on Monday morning:

  • Miami-Dade County: $3.01
  • Broward County: $3.03
  • Monroe County: $3.11
  • Palm Beach County: $3.13

For more information on Florida gas prices, click here.