By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) —  Florida gas prices took a surprising leap last week, rising an average of 11 cents. Florida drivers are now paying an average price of $2.49 per gallon.

Prices at the pump are now the most expensive in more than a year. The state average is now the highest since January 2020. During that time, the price of crude was sitting at the same level it is now.

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Crude oil prices have also bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. The price for U.S. crude rose to nearly $57 per barrel on Friday; the most expensive oil price since January 2020. Friday’s settlement of $56.85/b is $4 per barrel more than the week before. A 9% shift like that would typically lead to a 10 cent shift at the pump, as a higher oil price raises the cost for producing gasoline.

“Gas prices unexpectedly jumped last week, getting well ahead of where wholesale prices would suggest they’d go,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Regardless, early-month pump price hikes are something we’ve seen many times during the past year. The moves are often caused by retailers that enter into new monthly gasoline delivery contracts. If the new contract is higher than the month before, the added expense is often front-loaded, when passed along to the consumer. In many cases during recent months, pump prices rose at the beginning of the month, but trickled down from there.”

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“The gasoline market is also following the lead set by oil prices,” Jenkins continued. “Although, the fuel market is still worried about Covid-19 cases, there are other factors that are providing optimism in the market. Cold weather across the Northern Hemisphere has boosted demand for heating oil, an element refined from crude. The anticipated stimulus bill is expected to put more money in Americans’ pockets, which could encourage spending. Globally, there’s hope that continued production cuts from OPEC and its allies will create a fuel supply deficit through 2021.”

The state average price for gasoline in Florida of $2.49 per gallon is 11 cents more than a week ago. Florida drivers are paying 20 cents per gallon more than this time last month, and 8 cents per gallon more than this time last year.

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Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.59), Port St. Lucie ($2.52), Fort Lauderdale ($2.51)
  • Least expensive metro markets – Panama City ($2.38), Tallahassee ($2.39), Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($2.40)

CBSMiami.com Team