The cost of a gallon of gasoline fell another 17 cents last week, reaching an average of $3.93 statewide, the first time Florida saw prices below $4 since early March.
It’s the second week in a row that prices tumbled 17 cents per gallon.
AAA — The Auto Club Group said the Sunshine State’s average price now has dropped a total of 96 cents per gallon since setting the record high in mid-June. Prices have fallen seven weeks in a row.
The average full tank of gas now costs about $14 less than it did when pump prices were at their peak, $4.89 per gallon, AAA reported. At that time, drivers paid $73 to fill an average 15-gallon tank of gas. Now, that same 15-gallon tank costs around $59.
“After paying almost $5 a gallon just a couple months ago, Florida drivers are likely breathing a sigh of relief when seeing gas prices back below $4 a gallon,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA.
“However, it’s too early to tell just how long these sub-$4 gas prices will hang around. Oil and gasoline futures prices made notable gains last week. This could cause falling gas prices to level out or potentially increase, but it’s too early to tell.”
Thus, a leveling-off or upward correction may be in the near future.
The price for U.S. crude settled at $98.62 per barrel on Friday. That’s 4% more than the week before.
Gasoline futures jumped nearly 30 cents per gallon. The price hikes came after OPEC and its allies — who have steadily raised fuel production rates on a monthly basis — decided to hold production at current levels in September, AAA reported.
While that adds to existing concerns about global fuel supplies, the market remains concerned about a global recession and the potential of it driving down global fuel demand, AAA noted.
AAA found the best deals in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach market, where gas averaged $3.70 per gallon; the Melbourne-Titusville market and Panama City at $3.74; The Villages at $3.75; Pensacola at $3.82; Jacksonville at $3.86; Orlando at $3.87; and Tampa at $3.89.
After a week’s relief for the market, the state’s highest prices returned to the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market at $4.18, followed by Naples at $4.13; Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville at $4.04; Miami at $4.03; Sarasota at $3.95; Fort Myers at $3.93; and St. Petersburg at $3.91.