Gas prices in Florida could drop by as much as 25 cents in the next few weeks after a sharp decline in crude oil prices over the holiday weekend, according to the AAA-Auto Club Group's weekly gas prices briefing.
The market price of crude oil, from which gasoline is derived and drives the price at the pump, has been erratic since Friday when it dropped the lowest it’s been since September. Prices on Friday declined by 13% closing at $65.15 a barrel but Monday fluctuated before settling just under $70.
The average cost of gasoline in Florida is $3.34 a gallon but instability in the market could mean more relief further down the road.
"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,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins in his weekly briefing on Tuesday. “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."
Gas prices have exploded during the coronavirus pandemic; the current prices are 90 cents higher than they were at this time in 2019. Jenkins wrote instability in the crude oil market could be linked to the emerging omicron variant of the virus that is quickly becoming a concern among international health officials.
It also follows a series of political pushes by both President Joe Biden to investigate price gouging by oil companies and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who said he would seek $1 billion in gas tax relief for citizens during the 2022 Legislative Session.
Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.49), Naples ($3.38), Fort Lauderdale ($3.38)
Least expensive metro markets – Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($3.22), Pensacola ($3.25), Panama City ($3.27)
Daily gas price averages can be found at Gasprices.aaa.com
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Floridians could see double digit price drops at the pump in coming weeks