AAA: Pump prices face downward pressure as futures plummet

Special to Gannett
Oil and gasoline futures prices plummeted on demand concerns, as the end of summer driving season approaches.

TAMPA, Fla., — Florida gas prices are down 3 cents from a week ago and are about to slip even lower, unless futures prices can recover from sharp declines last week.

The price of U.S. crude dropped nearly 10% last week, settling $6 per barrel less than the week before. Meanwhile, gasoline futures dropped 24 cents (12%). Wholesale gasoline prices haven't been this low since April, when the average price at the pump was below $2.80 per gallon.

"The delta strain of Covid-19 continues to drive fuel prices," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "The busy summer driving season ends in September and market watchers are worried that Covid-19 will cause demand to drop more dramatically than it has in previous years. If crude oil and gasoline futures hold at current levels, prices at the pump could drop more than 20 cents per gallon in the weeks to come."

Last week, the state average dropped below $3 per gallon for the first time since Aug. 3. Florida gas prices are now averaging $2.98 per gallon. The state average is 3 cents less than a week ago, the same price as last month, 90 cents more than a year ago, and 59 cents more than this time in 2019.  

Regional Prices

Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($3.14), Panama City ($3.10), Tallahassee ($3.06)

Least expensive metro markets – Punta Gorda ($2.86), Ocala ($2.91), Orlando ($2.92), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater ($2.92)

Ways to Save on Gasoline

Combine errands to limit driving time.

Shop around for the best gas prices in your community. 

Consider paying cash. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card.

Remove excess weight in your vehicle. 

Drive conservatively. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduces fuel economy. 

Enroll in savings programs. AAA Members who enroll in Shell's Fuel Rewards program can save 5 cents per gallon when they fill up at Shell. Members who enroll between July 1 and Aug. 31, 2021 can save 30 cents per gallon on their first fill up. Visit https://discounts.aaa.com/automotive/fuel-rewards-program-shell

Daily gas price averages can be found at Gasprices.aaa.com.

State and metro averages can be found here