Palm Beach County gas prices soar 9 cents in a week


Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular gasoline climbed 9 cents in the past week, and the state’s average rose 10 cents, marking the highest January prices since 2014.

The county’s average stood at $2.66 Monday, and Florida average was $2.54, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Motorists who shop around will find a gap of as much 84 cents from the highest to lowest- priced gasoline. Monday, prices in Palm Beach County reported to GasBuddy.com ranged from $2.35 to $3.19 a gallon.

“For consumers, the question is how high are gas prices going to go in 2018,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Since 2014, gas prices decreased as much as 20 cents in the first three weeks of the year. This year, gas prices are five cents more than on January 1 of this year, a possible indication that prices in 2018 will likely be more expensive than last year.”

On the week, gas prices increased for 41 states, with Florida seeing the largest jump at the pump.

“It has been anything but a normal January for prices at the pump,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “Normally, demand slips and supplies build. However, this story so far this year has been a rally in oil prices.”

Soon refinery maintenance season will begin, and that is expected to put more upward pressure on gas prices.

“Oil prices strung together three weeks of significant gains, raising the cost of producing gasoline,” Jenkins said.

“As a result, gas prices for the month of January have been the most expensive in four years,” Jenkins said. “Fortunately, prices at the pump plateaued late last week, after the momentum for oil stalled out.

“During the next few months, refineries will reduce output as they conduct maintenance on their equipment and switch to summer-blend gasoline,” Jenkins said. “This usually leads to tighter supplies and forces gas prices higher. However, there is still lingering hope that U.S. oil production will ramp-up sooner than later, which would boost inventories and push energy prices lower.”

Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said U.S. oil inventories are 127 million barrels lower than a year ago, which has led gas prices to these seasonally high levels.



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