Florida gas prices are leveling off, after plunging for 10 consecutive weeks. The 76-day streak of declines came to an end last week, as Floridians returned to the road, driving up demand for fuel.
Gas prices dropped a total of 66 cents per gallon since February, when the coronavirus outbreak caused Floridians to stay home to stop the spread. The driving force behind plunging pump prices was low gasoline demand, which sank as much as 75 percent below normal levels during the lockdown. Since the phased reopening began last week, gasoline demand has improved to only 40 percent below year-ago levels.
"The plunge at the pump appears to be over now that Floridians are driving more often," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "The rising demand has restored optimism in the fuel market, causing higher crude oil and gasoline prices. Wholesale gasoline prices also increased last week, but not yet to a level that demands retailers to raise their rates."
Crude oil prices hit 4-week highs last week. Friday's closing price for WTI of $24.74 per barrel is 25 percent higher than the week before. Wholesale gasoline prices also increased by 25 percent, reaching their highest daily settlement in nearly two months.
Florida drivers are paying an average price of $1.76 per gallon. The state average is the same as a week ago, 20 cents less than last month, and nearly $1 per gallon less than last year.
At the time of this article publication, the following 10 Apopka gas stations have the lowest price per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline:
Sam’s Club: $1.59 - 1500 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka
Mobile & 7-Eleven: $1.62 - 2229 E. Semoran Blvd., Apopka
Wawa 1609 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka
RaceTrac 700 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka
Wawa 449 W. Main St., Apopka
7-Eleven 1495 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka
Sunoco 2971 W. Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka
RaceTrac 1652 E. Semoran Blvd., Apopka
Mobile 454 E. Main St., Apopka
Mobile 1501 N. Rock Springs Rd., Apopka