TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida gas prices have been on a rollercoaster in recent weeks after reaching a two-month high before taking a minor step back, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA).
AAA said prices rose 17 cents per gallon last week in the state, reaching a 2-month high of $3.58 per gallon on Thursday. That price was 42.2 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stands 16.7 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.
That state average then took a minor step back, declining almost 2 cents through the weekend.
“It’s unusual to see big gains like this in January, but global fundamentals have kept upward pressure on prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, Public Relations Manager, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Oil investors are bullish that global fuel demand will rise now that China, the world’s largest oil importer, is reopening its economy.”
According to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, continued refinery challenges and rising oil prices pulled pump prices higher across the majority of the country.
“In addition, releases of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve have wrapped up,” De Haan said. “Concerns are increasing that without additional oil, supply will tighten in the weeks ahead, especially as the nation starts to move away from softer demand in the height of winter. Moving forward, it doesn’t look good for motorists, with prices likely to continue accelerating.”