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Low supply, high demand blamed for rising gas prices

Florida's average price for a gallon of gas is the highest since June 2018, AAA says.

TAMPA, Fla. — Remember where you were three years ago? No? These gas prices might look familiar, according to AAA.

The auto group says Florida's statewide average price for a gallon of regular gas has climbed to $2.87 -- the highest level since June 2018. Unfortunately, things could get a little worse in the weeks ahead.

Why? AAA cites the ol' supply and demand: Countries globally reduced production over the past year because of the pandemic while more recently, Texas was hit with a major winter storm that cut refinery operations by about 32 percent.

Meanwhile, the demand for gas is increasing as there's growing optimism that Americans will get back to their traveling ways with an improving situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: VERIFY: Gas price jump reflects vaccine optimism, Texas storm impact, experts say

"Although gas prices normally increase in the spring, the price hike is especially pronounced this year, as global crude supplies tighten and domestic refinery issues lead to reduced gasoline supplies," AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the pain at the pump may get a little worse before it gets better. Gasoline futures and wholesale prices rose another 10 cents late last week. 

"The increase is said to be based on optimism that gasoline demand will continue to grow. It's possible that increase could cause gas prices to rise again this week, dragging the state average even closer to $3 a gallon."

Tampa's average price for a gallon of gas fares a tad better at $2.84 a gallon, according to the crowd-sourced fuel price index website GasBuddy.com.

Credit: GasBuddy.com

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