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Coronavirus Concerns Contribute to Tampa Bay's Plunging Gas Prices

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CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA
Gas prices dropped an average of 7 cents in Tampa Bay last week, to around $2.37 a gallon. CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Concerns over Coronavirus and low demand have contributed to plummeting gas prices across Tampa Bay.

Prices at the pump have been declining since mid-January, largely affected by the seasonal drop in demand in addition to increased gas supplies, according to a AAA news release on Monday.

But concerns that the virus could result in decreased demand worldwide has resulted in a drop in crude oil prices.

"The state average should trend even lower this week, as strong gasoline supplies continue to outpace low winter fuel demand," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in the release. “In addition to those seasonal factors, it now appears that the coronavirus is heaping even more downward pressure on fuel prices.

“Market watchers are concerned that the mysterious virus could lead to even less global fuel demand.”

The average gas price in Florida fell to $2.37 in Florida, a drop of 7 cents, according to AAA. The national average is $2.47.

Tampa Bay is among the cheapest metro areas with an average price of $2.28 a gallon.