AAA: Low Demand Drives Prices Down As Oil Recovers

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Daytona Beach. FL - Gas prices are still going down  after crude oil prices sank to record lows last week amid growing concerns that producers are running out of space to store excess supplies.

And, according to AAA, Florida gas prices remain at 4-year lows. Prices at the pump are averaging about $1.78 per gallon (regular unleaded). The state average declined 3.5 cents last week and is nearly a $1 per gallon cheaper than a year ago.

State gas prices have declined 64 cents since February 20th.

"Gas prices face continued downward pressure from extremely low demand, as residents are urged to stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA. "The low demand has made it less profitable to pump oil and convert it to gasoline and jet fuel. Refiners are now having to make difficult decisions to either reduce output or close plants in attempt to lower gasoline supplies to match demand."

State officials also say gasoline demand is down as much as 70% in some of the larger metro areas.

Refineries are also making adjustments. During the past two months, refinery capacity in the United States has reduced from nearly 90% down to 68%. Gasoline production out of the Gulf Coast is nearly 30% lower than this time last year.

Currently, the state average for gas sits around $1.78, which is just a penny higher than the current national average and three cents less than last week's.

Locally, Volusia drivers are seeing averages around the state's level with $1.77 per gallon. Flagler drivers are paying a couple of cents higher at $1.80.

Around the state, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton has the highest averages seen with prices close to $2 at $1.95 a gallon. The lowest averages in the state come from Jacksonville, where prices are hovering around $1.62 a gallon.

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