AAA gas prices sip lower, yet upward pressure remains

Special to Gannett

TAMPA — Florida gas prices declined another 2 cents last week. The state average has been on a downward trend for the past two weeks; slipping a total of 5 cents since setting a new 2021 high of $3.10 per gallon in mid-September.

"After weeks of declines, gas prices face renewed upward pressure after the price of crude oil rose 3% last week," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Crude prices have remained elevated this year, because unlike the years before the pandemic - where supplies far outpaced demand — the global fuel market has tightened. Many countries reduced fuel production, due to the pandemic, and are now struggling to keep pace with returning demand."

Gas prices in Florida have fallen the past two weeks.

The fuel market is closely watching this month's OPEC+ meeting. The cartel is meeting to discuss raising oil production. Oil prices rose last week on concerns that the cartel's planned 400,000 barrel per day increase would not be enough to meet global fuel demand. Now, there are reports that OPEC+ is considering doubling the rate increase.

Last week, the price of US crude oil set a new 2021 high. Friday's settlement of $75.88 per barrel was $2 more than the week before, and the most expensive daily settlement since October 2018. 

Regional Prices

Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.23), Fort Lauderdale ($3.10), Naples ($3.10)

Least expensive metro markets – Punta Gorda ($2.97), The Villages ($3.00), Jacksonville ($3.00), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($3.00)