Daytona Beach, FL - A year with a seemingly endless rise in gas prices ends with the state’s highest average gas price in seven years.
The latest gas report from AAA says 2021 ended with an overall average gas price of $2.93 per gallon (regular unleaded). This is over 80 cents more expensive than the overall average seen at the end of 2020, which was $2.11 per gallon. In fact, from 2018 to 2020, the average price for gas in the state declined from $2.65 to $2.11.
Still, while it is more expensive than previous averages, 2021’s ending average is still well below 2013’s average of $3.49.
"Since it began, the pandemic has caused a rollercoaster ride for prices at the pump," said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA. "Gas prices plummeted in 2020 when lockdowns led to lower fuel demand, causing a glut in global fuel supplies. As a result, many countries cut back on crude production, leaving the market vulnerable to what would happen next.”
Jenkins added that fuel prices skyrocketed as vaccinations rolled out and demand came back, outpacing oil production. AAA found that prices were also influenced by a 78 percent upswing in the price of crude oil. The price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) went from $47 per barrel to a high of nearly $85. For now, crude oil futures prices for 2022 appear relatively benign, trading within a range of $70 to just above $75 per barrel. That could, however, change as the year marches on.
"For now, it appears these higher gas prices will hang around well into 2022," Jenkins continued. "Motorists should expect continued volatility at the pump, as prices will likely ebb and flow, based on news about the pandemic and its implications on global supply and demand."
Florida drivers are said to be spending $48 to fill an average-sized 15-gallon tank. In January 2020, it cost $37 to fill-up. Meanwhile, this time last year, a full tank cost around $33.
In 2021 alone, the average price for gas in Florida started at $2.19 per gallon and reached a high of $3.36 per gallon by mid-November. That high reached well beyond the highs of 2018, 2019, and 2020, which were $2.92, $2.80, and $2.56, respectively.
At the start of 2022, Florida is looking at a starting average price of $3.21 per gallon. Locally in the Volusia County area, drivers are seeing averages just a penny lower, hovering around $3.20 per gallon, which is about 3 cents cheaper than last week’s average of $3.23. In Flagler, the year is off to a more expensive start with an average price of almost $3.30 per gallon.
Across the state, AAA found that the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area had the highest starting average of the year with prices around $3.42, while Crestview-Fort Walton Beach had the lowest with $3.08.
The national average is currently hovering around $3.29 per gallon.
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