Florida gas prices drop amid omicron variant concerns

Average gasoline prices in Florida dropped four cents during the past week and are expected to continue to fall because of concerns about how the omicron variant of the coronavirus could affect global fuel demand, according to the AAA auto club. 

The average price Sunday for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the state was $3.30, down from $3.34 a week earlier. 

Prices are expected to decrease because of lower crude-oil costs, which are down more than 20 percent from the 2021 high about a month ago. 

Even as Florida remains relatively open for business and travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said that is not the case in other areas of the country and globally. 

"We might not have any lockdowns in the United States, but there are other countries that could have lockdowns," Jenkins said. "So, it’s just that potential impact on transportation and fuel demand that has the crude oil market concerned." 

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Even with the recent decreases, average gas prices are $1.14 a gallon higher than they were a year ago. The most expensive gas in Florida is in West Palm Beach, while the cheapest fuel can be found in Fort Walton Beach. 

"Crude oil prices have plummeted," Jenkins said. "They are down as much as 15 percent. What that means is that it is less expensive to produce gasoline. We could be looking at a gas price drop of anywhere from 20 to potentially 30 cents. That could play out over the course of a couple of weeks."