Gas prices are about to drop, experts say

New COVID variant is a factor in crude oil market shift

(Matt Rourke, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Your wallet is about to get a little bit of a break this holiday season. Experts say gas prices are primed to decline after weeks of expensive fill-ups.

It comes as crude oil prices have rapidly dropped. The bad news is that that’s in part because of concern about the new omicron strain of COVID-19.

“Florida drivers should begin to see significant relief from the pain at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the American Automobile Association who tracks fuel prices. “The recent drop in futures prices could potentially result in a discount of 20-25 cents per gallon, unless oil prices stage a quick comeback. But it’d be unusual for that discount to hit the pumps overnight. Gas prices normally rise like a rocket and fall like a feather. So it could take a couple of weeks before prices at the pump fully reflect the downturn in the futures market.”

Jenkins had actually predicted in an interview with Local 10 News last week that gas prices were set to start lowering.

According to AAA, the price of U.S. crude dropped 13% on Friday, finishing the week 10% lower than the week prior. Friday’s closing price of $68.15 per barrel was the lowest daily price since Sept. 9, Jenkins said. “ Yesterday, crude prices were very erratic, reaching a high of nearly $73 before ultimately settling back down at $69.95,” he added.

Florida’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.34 on Tuesday morning, below the national average of $3.39. Florida’s current price is 2 cents cheaper than the 2021 high, $1.15 more than the 2021 low, and 90 cents more than this time in 2019, AAA data shows. They point out that before 2021, Florida drivers hadn’t seen gas prices this high since September 2014.

In South Florida, average gas prices sit as follows:

  • Miami-Dade: $3.343
  • Broward: $3.379
  • Monroe: $3.609
  • Palm Beach: $3.496

Gas prices have been thrust into the political back and forth in recent weeks. Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking lawmakers for relief in the form of a state gas tax holiday and gas tax cuts. And President Joe Biden last week ordered a record 50 million barrels of oil released from America’s strategic reserve, aiming to bring down gasoline and other costs.

For more information on Florida gas prices, click here.