Be ready for gas prices to rise again in Florida

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2019, file photo, a gas pump reflecting current prices is seen in Orlando, Fla. On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, the Labor Department releases Consumer Price Index for January. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File) (John Raoux, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida’s average gas price dipped three cents since the year-long peak that had been reached a week ago.

But that relief may be short-lived and you could be seeing another spike in prices soon, experts say.

“Unfortunately, the recent jump at the pump may not be over yet,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association. “Pump prices could eventually reach $2.60 per gallon in the coming weeks, as refineries prepare to switch to summer-blend gasoline. Summer gasoline typically costs more to produce, because it contains more additives, which work to reduce smog during the hotter months.”

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Florida is $2.46 on Monday morning. That’s 26 cents higher than the $2.20 average at the start of 2021. The national average gas price on Monday morning was $2.50.

Last Monday, the average price of $2.49 in Florida was the highest since January 2020.

“Although there was a small decline [this past week], pump prices remain at a level that hasn’t been seen in more than a year,” said Jenkins, who also pointed out that crude oil reached a new 2021 high of $59.47 per barrel, with Friday’s closing price nearly $3 (5%) more than the week before.

The silver lining is that while your wallet may take a hit, the rise in prices since earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic signals higher demand, and that we may be closer to a return to normalcy as vaccines are distributed.

“We shouldn’t always grimace when we see higher prices,” Patrick De Haan, a petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, told Local 10 News last week. “At least this time, it means we are recovering as a nation.”

De Haan also said that the rise in gas prices in recent weeks is not tied to President Joe Biden taking over the Oval Office.

“Oil prices aren’t a function of who is in the White House. They are a function of supply-and-demand economics,” he said. “This is really simply a recovery of a pandemic that has had a significant oil demand, and now with oil demand rebounding, prices are going up. This would have happened even if President Trump was still in office, prices would be going up because it is about recovery from the COVID pandemic, not about who is in the White House.”

Locally, South Florida’s gas prices are higher than the state average on Monday morning, according to AAA:

  • $2.482 in Miami-Dade County
  • $2.514 in Broward County
  • $2.564 in Monroe County
  • $2.587 in Palm Beach County

For more info on Florida gas prices, click here.