The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Florida has topped the national average as fuel costs increase.
The AAA auto club said Tuesday the average price in Florida was $3.29, with the national average at $3.23. Local averages in Florida ranged from $3.05 in the Pensacola and Panama City areas to $3.42 in the West Palm Beach area.
Tuesday was the third consecutive day Florida’s average was over the national mark. State and national gas prices have been on the rise since Dec. 24. Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis, pointed to holiday winter storms that shut down some refineries and China reopening its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic for pushing wholesale gas prices up roughly 50 cents in the past two weeks.
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“The surge in wholesale has slowed as refineries are making attempts to restore production, but with weak demand, the jump at the pump will be somewhat limited,” De Haan tweeted. “However, China’s reopening is a wildcard to watch in coming days/weeks.”
In a forecast for 2023, GasBuddy has predicted that prices nationally could fall under $3 a gallon in February, climb to $3.99 by June, remain over $3.80 during the summer, and drop to around $3.17 as the year comes to an end.
The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Florida hit an all-time high of $4.89 a gallon on June 13 and then steadily declined for much of the rest of 2022.
The average price was $2.99 a gallon on Dec. 23.