South Florida pump prices on upward trend

 

gas pump graphic

South Florida gas prices spiked last week by 10 to 15 cents, as oil prices rose amid positive employment numbers and threats from Iran to block a major shipping channel for oil.

South Florida gas prices spiked last week by 10 to 15 cents, as oil prices rose amid positive employment numbers and threats from Iran to block a major shipping channel for oil.

“Motorists will probably see pump prices inch up again this week, which is likely to reveal whether or not oil prices are sustainable above $100 a barrel,” said Jessica Brady, AAA 

spokeswoman for The Auto Club Group, in a statement.

Crude oil prices climbed $2.73 to close Friday at $101.56 on the New York Mercantile Exchange 

, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

South Florida fuel average details:

  • Fort Lauderdale: A gallon of regular reached $3.50, up from $3.35 the previous week and $3.17 a year ago.
  • Miami: A gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.48, up from $3.36 the previous week and $3.17 a year ago.
  • West Palm Beach/Boca Raton: Regular unleaded was $3.51, up from $3.41 the previous week and $3.20 a year ago.

“Gas prices generally inch up after the first of the year on optimism the economy will continue to improve and set the stage for increased demand in the new year,” Brady said. “The recent increase in U.S. payrolls by 200,000 in December supports this notion. Then, couple it with concerns Iran will disrupt Mideast oil exports and pump prices are sure to rise. However, there is still plenty of bearish news out there, mainly Europe’s looming debt woes, with the potential to drive down oil and gas prices, especially if the Iranian threats were to cease.”

Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major shipping channel for about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline of $3.37 a gallon was up 7 cents from the previous week. Florida’s average price of $3.44 a gallon was up 13 cents.

The spike in gas prices has raised concerns that the national average could reach $4.20 by spring or summer. However, AAA warns it is still too early to know for sure.

 

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