By CBSMiami.com Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For the first time in three years, Florida gas prices are averaging more than $2.90 per gallon. The state average rose 5 cents last week. Drivers are now paying an average price of $2.91 per gallon. That’s the highest daily average price since May 2018.

Florida gas prices have now increased by more than 70 cents since January 1, 2021. Just during the month of March, the state average has increased a total of 30 cents.

READ MORE: Confrontation With Hollywood Police Lands One Man In The Hospital

The upward trend was largely driven by tightening global crude supplies and market optimism that widespread vaccinations will boost fuel demand. One of the biggest influencers on rising gas prices during the past month has been the tightening supply of gasoline after winter weather caused power outages to a group of refineries in Texas.

READ MORE: Zoo Miami Helps Discover A Brand New Spider Species In Miami

“The good news for motorists is that gas prices could soon begin to slip lower,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Weekly EIA data suggests that refinery operations are improving and gasoline supplies are increasing. Wholesale gasoline prices dropped nearly 20 cents last week. It’s unlikely that drivers will see such a dramatic swing at the pump, but it’s an indication that lower prices should be on the way.”

Another factor promoting lower pump prices is the declining price of crude oil. US crude (WTI) declined 10% last week amid renewed global demand concerns. After several countries announced the suspension of the Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, market speculators worry that this will slow the pace of vaccinations, stalling the global recovery in fuel demand. The price of crude settled at $61.42 per barrel on Friday, after hitting a 2-year high of $66.09/b two weeks ago.

MORE NEWS: Passing Asteroid Lights Up South Florida Sky

Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.01), Fort Lauderdale ($2.93), Miami ($2.93)
  • Least expensive metro markets – Punta Gorda ($2.86), Crestview-Fort Walton ($2.87), Pensacola ($2.88)

CBSMiami.com Team