Gasoline demand concerns return as COVID-19 cases rise
Florida gas prices increased by a penny last week, but any additional gains may be hard to come by, as Florida experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases.
There’s growing concern in the fuel market that rising cases of coronavirus will interfere with the recovery in fuel demand, which took a significant hit during the height of the state’s stay-at-home orders. During that time, fuel demand was down as much as 80 percent in some Florida metro areas. Since reopening, the deficit shrunk to only 20 percent.
The fear of how rising COVID-19 cases could cause people to drive less, is what alleviated the upward momentum of both crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices. Crude oil set a 3-month high of $40.46 per barrel on Monday. But at rising cases set in, the price of oil dropped 5 percent by Friday, to a closing price of $38.49 per barrel. Wholesale gasoline took the biggest hit, falling 10 cents (10%) last week.
“Demand concerns are beginning to creep back into the market, now that cases of coronavirus are on the rise in Florida,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “State numbers suggest demand is holding steady, but market analysts worry about an eventual downturn. With wholesale prices turning lower, it’s possible drivers will begin to see slightly lower prices at the pump this week.”
The average price for gasoline in Florida is $2.03 per gallon. The state average is 1-cent more than a week ago, and 14 cents more than last month. Despite the recent uptick, Florida drivers are still paying 51 cents per gallon less than this time last year.
- Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.15), Gainesville ($2.11), Tallahassee ($2.10)
- Least expensive metro markets – Punta Gorda ($1.98), Fort Myers-Cape Coral ($1.98), Orlando ($1.99), Tampa Bay ($1.99)
Find Florida Gas Prices
- Daily gas price averages can be found at Gasprices.aaa.com
- State and metro averages can be found here
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AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.GasPrices.AAA.com. Every day up to 130,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline.
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, banking, financial services, and travel offerings to over 13.5 million members across 13 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.