Florida motorists are spending a penny less per gallon of fuel than they did a month ago, though that price point may not last much longer, according to AAA — The Auto Club Group.
The average price of gas Sunshine State this time last month was $3.41 per gallon.
On Monday, gas prices in Florida hovered at $3.40 per gallon — nearly 17 cents less than what drivers are paying across the U.S.
The uptick in national gas prices runs opposite to a “notable cratering in gas demand” since the July 4 holiday, AAA said, and the culprit is a higher price point for oil.
The price of oil recently moved from around $69 per barrel in late June to $75 or more in recent days, in no small part due to OPEC’s production changes.
“Gas demand has fallen nearly 10% since the holidays, as folks have returned to their day-to-day driving routines,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement. “Typically, this would lower gas prices, but such a move is being countered for now by the increasing cost for oil, the main ingredient in gasoline.”
Data from the Energy Information Administration showed gas demand decreasing significantly from 9.6 million barrels per day to 8.76 million barrels per day in early July. At the same time, total domestic gasoline stocks stayed flat at 219.5 million barrels of crude oil.
“Although lower gas demand typically pushes pump prices lower, rising oil prices have lifted them,” a AAA news release said. “If oil prices continue to rise, pump prices will likely follow suit.”
Florida now has the 19th lowest gas prices nationwide. The costliest county for motorists is Palm Beach, where the average price pump is $3.56 per gallon, followed by Jefferson ($3.53) and Union ($3.52).
The cheapest gas is in Okaloosa County, where motorists are paying an average $3.18 per gallon, followed by Bay and Escambia counties, where the price is about $3.20.