On Monday, AAA released a study showing gas prices continue to drop across Florida, moving down four cents in the past week.
According to AAA, on Sunday, the state average stood at $2.76 a gallon, four cents less than a week ago though 33 cents higher than this time last year. The national average stood at $2.86 a gallon on Sunday.
Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group, pointed to lower oil prices as to why prices at the pump are dropping across Florida.
“Motorists are getting a welcome reprieve from high prices at the pump,” said Jenkins on Monday. “Gas prices have been pushed lower by oil prices, which significantly declined during the past two weeks. The market is responding to strong gains in domestic oil supplies, easing global supply concerns. Motorists can expect additional declines at the pump if oil prices drop again this week.”
“The crude market saw mostly losses last week following EIA’s weekly petroleum report, which showed domestic crude inventories grew by 6.5 million barrels. Total crude inventories now sit at 416.4 million bbl, marking the fourth week of consecutive growth and highest level since late June. The larger-than-expected growth in crude levels jolted the market, which had seen prices steadily rising due to concerns about U.S.-Saudi Arabia relations and upcoming U.S.-imposed sanctions on Iran’s crude exports,” AAA noted. “U.S. crude prices dropped $5 during the past two weeks, a decline that usually triggers a 12.5 cent decline at the pump.”
Panama City, which is still recovering from Hurricane Michael’s impact earlier in the month, had the highest gas prices in the state with an average of $2.92 a gallon followed by the West Palm Beach – Boca Raton market with an average of $2.87 a gallon. The Crestview-Fort Walton Beach market, which was also impacted by Hurricane Michael, followed with prices averaging $2.86 a gallon.
Three markets–the Melbourne-Titusville area, Orlando, and the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region–tied for the least expensive gas in Florida with prices averaging $2.68 a gallon.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.