Gasoline prices are volatile this time of year, and last week was no exception as prices moved higher, then declined slightly over the weekend. Monday, prices were moving upward.
Florida gas prices increased an average of 4 cents last week, before declining a penny during the weekend. The state average of $2.53 is 7 cents less than a month ago, yet motorists are paying 25 cents more per gallon compared to this time last year, AAA said.
Monday, Palm Beach County’s average for a gallon of regular stood at $2.66, up 1 cent from a week ago, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.
“Gas prices are usually volatile during the spring, with more ups and downs than a roller coaster,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “Wholesale gasoline prices lowered late last week, which should allow retail to do the same.
“While motorists could see gas prices drift a few cents lower in the short term, they should expect more surprises this spring. In total, pump prices could rise 20-30 cents before the summer, as refineries work through scheduled maintenance and prepare for the switch to summer blend gasoline,” Jenkins said.
Motorists will start to see gas prices make their spring spike in early April. That’s when refinery maintenance is expected to be wrapped-up and the switchover to more expensive summer-blend gasoline kicks in along with warmer weather and typical demand increases.
Consumers can expect prices to increase throughout April, May and into the start of summer.
AAA expects summer gas prices to be just as expensive as spring prices, but with the potential that they may not increase at such a quick rate. Heading into summer, a variety of factors including U.S. gasoline supply-demand levels, domestic gasoline production rates, and global crude demand will help better shape the summer forecast.
Oil and gasoline futures dropped last week, following a bearish report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The weekly fuel snapshot showed strong U.S. crude production, weak gasoline demand, and larger-than-anticipated growth in domestic gasoline and crude inventories.
Here are the lowest prices in our area, as reported Monday to GasBuddy.com. Prices can change at any time.
Jupiter: $2.56, Mobil, 3950 E. Indiantown Road; Circle K, 126 W. Indiantown Road
Juno Beach: $2.49, Shell, 14731 U.S. 1
North Palm Beach: $2.47, Rocket Fuel, 100 N. Federal Highway
Palm Beach Gardens: $2.49, Sunoco, 2490 PGA Blvd.
Lake Park: $2.44, RaceTrac, 200 N. Congress Ave.
Riviera Beach: $2.48, 7-Eleven, 7280 N. Military Trail; RaceTrac, 4156 W. Blue Heron Blvd.; Chevron, 4128 W. Blue Heron Blvd.
Royal Palm Beach: $2.39, Costco, 11001 Southern Blvd.
Wellington: $2.53, Marathon, 2741 State Road 7
West Palm Beach: $2.36, Sam’s Club, 4295 45th Street
Lake Worth: $2.37, Speedway, 3965 S. Congress Ave.; RaceTrac, 3032 Lake Worth Road; Shell, 4021 Lake Worth Road
Lantana: $2.37, Costco, 1873 W. Lantana Road
Boynton Beach: $2.43, BJ’s, 1540 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.
Delray Beach: $2.47, Murphy USA, 16211 S. Military Trail
Boca Raton: $2.47, Costco, 17800 Congress Ave.