Daytona Beach, FL - Florida drivers have been enjoying the relief at the pump, but the latest developments in the US-China trade agreement threatens the plunge in prices.
Gas prices around the state have declined for over a week, with the average hitting $2.44 (per gallon of regular unleaded) today (December 17th), which is eight cents less than last week's average.
However, drivers are paying about eight cents per gallon more than last month, and 16 cents more than this time in 2018.
Crude oil prices have jumped after the U.S. and China announced a tentative "Phase One" trade agreement. This agreement would reduce some of the US' tariffs in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of American farm goods. So far there's been no major effects on prices, due to expectations that higher prices on each countries goods would result in lower fuel demand.
"It's too early to know just how much of an impact this preliminary US-China trade agreement will have on local prices at the pump," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. "Without it, gas prices would certainly continue falling. Gasoline supplies have grown considerably in the past five weeks, while demand has entered its seasonal slowdown. It's certainly possible these fundamentals outweigh the impacts of the trade agreement, and push gas prices even lower through the end of the year; but if crude prices see significant gains this week, pump prices will reverse course."
As of today, Volusia County drivers are seeing an average of $2.43 at the pump, just a penny less than the state's average. Flagler drivers, however, are seeing averages above both Volusia and Florida's with $2.48.
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton had the highest prices seen in the state with an average of $2.58 per gallon. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater had the lowest at $2.38.
The national average now sits at $2.55.