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Florida gas prices spike to record levels, with no relief any time soon

Carl Lisciandrello
WUSF Public Media

Gas prices in Florida reached a record high last week, with no relief in sight any time soon.

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gas spiked by around 30 cents last week, to an average of $4.49 a gallon.

That beats the previous record high of $4.38 a gallon in March — soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prior to that, the record high was $4.08 in 2008.

The new record is around $1.60 a gallon higher than this time last year.

Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA, said prices could rise even higher.

"Drivers are dealing with unprecedented pain at the pump and things could soon get worse before they get better," Jenkins said in a news release. "We saw more big gains in the gasoline futures market late last week, which could trickle down to yet another 10-20 cent jump at the pump in the near future."

According to AAA, the increase is largely the result of reduced fuel supply worldwide as oil-producing countries had yet to return to pre-pandemic production levels — despite higher demand.

Supplies were reduced even further following the Russian invasion.

"Unfortunately, $4.00 gasoline is likely to be that unwelcome passenger on most Florida summer road trips," Jenkins said in the release. "At this point, the state average is not expected to exceed $5 a gallon. However, the fuel market is extremely unstable and things are changing by the day.

"Either way, drivers should expect gas prices to keep fluctuating throughout the summer and potentially the rest of the year."

Motorists across the greater Tampa Bay region are playing an average of $4.50 a gallon.

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.