TAMPA, Fla.—Gas prices in Florida are falling again after rising for the past two weeks. The state average was down nearly 2 cents a gallon over the weekend, but more discounts are likely on the way.

“Gasoline prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks after winter storms caused temporary shutdowns at refineries,” said Mark Jenkins, Public Relations Manager for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Last week, we saw fuel prices pull back again as refinery activity picked up again and the market turned bearish on global fuel demand, due to rising Covid-19 cases in China. Retail prices could drop 10 to 20 cents in the coming weeks. , unless oil prices suddenly recover.

On Sunday, the state average was $3.30 a gallon. That’s 10 cents more than this time last year. In 2022, gasoline prices hit a new record high of $4.89 per gallon in June. The 2022 minimum was set on December 26 at $2.99 ​​per gallon.

Gasoline prices were down through the end of November and through much of December. The state average fell 59 cents a gallon, over the course of six weeks. Then the state average rebounded 32 cents a gallon in the final days of 2022 and into 2023.

Oil prices remain the key factor driving prices at the pump. About half the price of gasoline is set by the price of oil. When gas prices plunged in early December, the US oil price had fallen from $92 a barrel to $71/b. During the last week of 2022, oil recovered to $86/b and dragged gas prices down to $3.31/g. The good news for drivers is that oil prices plunged again last week, down to the 70s. This should allow gas prices to come down as well.

“Don’t expect significant discounts at the gas station overnight,” Jenkins said. “Gas prices always go up like a rocket and fall like a feather. That’s because retailers often prefer to unload the most expensive gasoline first, then wait for their next delivery before lowering prices. Therefore, it could take a few weeks before retail prices fully adjust to the recent drop in oil prices. And that’s assuming oil prices don’t change course between now and then.”

On Friday, the closing price of US oil was $73.77 per barrel. That’s a 15% drop from the previous week.

Regional Prices

Most Expensive Metro Markets: West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.46), Sebastian-Vero Beach ($3.36), Port St. Lucie ($3.34)

Less expensive metropolitan markets: Panama City ($3.13), Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.13), Pensacola ($3.14)

Ways to save on gas

Combine errands to limit driving time.

Find the best gas prices in your community.

Pay cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon to customers who pay with a credit card.

Remove excess weight from your vehicle. Every 100 pounds removed from the vehicle improves fuel economy by 1-2 percent.

Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduce fuel consumption.

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