VENICE — Gasoline prices continue to drift lower due to ample supply and falling crude oil prices.
AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said the average Florida price for a gallon of gas dropped 3 cents last week, for a total drop of 6 cents in the past two weeks.
The area continued to be the least expensive market in the state.
After midnight on Monday, the average price was $2.76 for regular unleaded. But then things began to fall as the day wore on.
In Venice, prices ranged between $2.74 and $2.79, according to GasBuddy.
Denise Daugherty, of Port Charlotte, said she was “very pleased” with the current prices, while Gabriel Paula, who lives in Sarasota County, said it was the “lowest price I’ve seen.”
A year ago, prices were much lower as the pandemic took root, Jenkins said.
“Globally, people weren’t traveling (flying) or driving as much...The price of gasoline slipped below $2 a gallon in April 2020, as we entered the early stages of the pandemic. Businesses were closed and people were encouraged to stay home. Fewer drivers meant less demand for gasoline and an oversupply of unused fuel,” Jenkins said.
The Energy Information Administration, which supplies official energy statistics from the U.S. government, showed gasoline demand dropped nearly 50% from March to April 2020, Jenkins said.
“That left those in the industry with nothing to do but cut production and lower prices,” he said.
Jenkins attributed the current price declines to ample production now that refineries have mostly recovered from power outages in mid-February, and to shrinking demand due to the widening lockdowns in Europe.
Another factor affecting prices downstream now, is falling crude oil prices.
“Since retail prices have not yet fully adjusted to oil and gasoline futures price drops, drivers should see pump prices slip even lower this week,” Jenkins said in statement issued by AAA Monday.