By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida gas prices surged again early last week, jumping another 15 cents per gallon. The state average is now $2.87 per gallon – the highest daily average price since June 2018.

“Global and domestic supply and demand continues to be the story behind rising prices at the pump,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Although gas prices normally increase in the spring, the price hike is especially pronounced this year, as global crude supplies tighten and domestic refinery issues lead to reduced gasoline supplies. Unfortunately, the pain at the pump may get a little worse before it gets better. Gasoline futures and wholesale prices rose another 10 cents late last week. The increase is said to be based on optimism that gasoline demand will continue to grow. It’s possible that increase could cause gas prices to rise again this week, dragging the state average even closer to $3 a gallon.”

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Florida’s average price has increased 67 cents per gallon since starting the year at $2.20. The main driver of that increase has been the price of crude oil, which increased nearly 40% since January 1.

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Here’s the breakdown of what has contributed to rising prices this year:

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  • Tightening global crude oil supplies. OPEC+ and other countries reduced production during the past year to soak up the glut that was left by the pandemic. OPEC+ recently announced plans to extend production cuts beyond April.
  • Tightening domestic gasoline supplies. Gasolines supplies dropped 10% in the past two weeks, following the mid-February arctic blast that caused power outages to refineries in Texas and other states. US refinery operations dropped 32%, according to the EIA. Although refineries are working to ramp up operations, they’re still down 17%.
  • Rising demand. Gasoline demand climbed 20% in the past two weeks, according to data from the EIA. That figure remains 15% below pre-pandemic levels.
  • Market optimism. Investors have become extremely optimistic about the long term future of gasoline demand. The belief is that as vaccinations become more widespread, Americans will be more confident about a return to normal driving and travel habits. Struggling supplies is an added incentive for buyers.

Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.97), Miami ($2.91), Ft. Lauderdale ($2.90)
  • Least expensive metro markets – Pensacola ($2.80), Crestview-Fort Walton Beach ($2.81), Panama City ($2.81)

CBSMiami.com Team