According to new data from AAA, Florida gas prices dropped another 15 cents last week, the latest in a five-week streak of declines that's totaled in a drop of 62 cents per gallon.
On Sunday, the average price for a gallon of gas was $4.27; on average, it costs $64 to fill an average-sized, 15-gallon tank of gas—$9 less than drivers paid when Florida gas prices hit a peak of $4.89 in mid-June. In Sarasota, the average price of gas right now is $4.24; in Manatee, it's $4.21. Prices could get even cheaper this week.
"Oil prices suffered significant drops last week, clearing the way for additional discounts at the pump," AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins explained in a release. "Although global supplies remain an ongoing concern, the EIA reported a steep drop in domestic gasoline demand. While this might be an anomaly, the market is taking it as an indicator that Americans could be shifting driving habits in response to high prices. Meanwhile, concerns about a new strain of Covid-19 and potential lockdowns in China have re-energized global demand concerns.
"However, it's important to remember that the market remains extremely volatile, and prices have the potential to bounce back," Jenkins warned. "That particularly applies to hurricane season. If a major storm makes landfall along the Gulf Coast, impacting operations at refineries in Texas, Louisiana, or Mississippi, prices could spike due to concerns about fuel supplies."
The price of oil accounts for about half the price of gasoline. When oil prices drop, so do gas prices. Last week, the U.S. price of oil dropped nearly $10 a barrel, but recovered by a few dollars by the end of the week, according to AAA. Friday's closing price of $97.59 per barrel is $7.20 per barrel (7 percent) less than the week before; a far cry from where oil prices were just over a month ago.