After rising for 16 consecutive days, in large part because of surging demand created by Hurricane Matthew, gas prices locally and across the state have started to stabilize.
On Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Bradenton-Sarasota area was $2.21, according to AAA, up 7 cents from a week ago.
Manatee County stations were averaging $2.22 per gallon, up for $2.11 a week ago, while Sarasota County was at $2.21, up from $2.17. The average price in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was $2.20, up from $2.11 last week. Statewide the average was $2.25, up from $2.21 a week earlier.
Sunday marked the first time in more than two weeks that the price didn’t rise in Florida.
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“(Hurricane Matthew) temporarily shut down supply hubs and left some filling stations without gasoline (across Florida),” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Stabilized gas prices are a good sign that much of the supply has been restored to the affected areas.”
In recent years, prices have dropped dramatically in October. From 2012-15, the national average fell 26, 11, 34 and 12 cents from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, according to GasBuddy.
This month has proven to be the exception, especially in Florida, thanks to Hurricane Matthew and OPEC’s recent decision to cut oil production.
“(There’s been) an average decrease of 20 cents per gallon during the last four Octobers,” said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “But this month ... the national average ($2.24 on Monday) is still a few cents higher than where it was ($2.22) on Oct. 1.”