Florida Marketers See Some BP Boycotts

NEW YORK -- As the BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico threatens Florida beaches, the call to boycott BP gasoline is hurting some gasoline marketers in the state, according to a report by Platts.

Jim Smith, president and CEO of the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, told Platts: "The only negative point is any of our members who are BP distributors are sort of getting avoided. It's all over, but not every location."

Smith called the affect on demand "minor right now." The bigger concern for gasoline retailers is a potential drop in tourism, Smith told the energy and metals information provider.

While May fuel sales data will not be available from Florida's Department of Revenue until June 20, Smith said he has learned there have been "significant" hotel cancellations.

The Florida Petroleum Council has not seen any impact from the oil spill. But any drop in tourism could lower fuel demand, Dave Mica, head of the Florida Petroleum Council, told Platts.

"Obviously if tourism is affected, that could ultimately be an impact on sales," said Mica. But he stressed at this point, "there's been a tar ball or two. There's much more media-type attention then there is actual oil coming ashore."

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