Gas prices in Manatee and Sarasota counties are on the decline, albeit slowly, but remain significantly higher than this time a year ago.
On Monday, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the Bradenton-Sarasota area was $2.18, according to AAA, down from $2.20 a week ago.
Manatee County stations were averaging $2.15 per gallon, compared to $2.20 a week ago, while Sarasota County was at $2.20 after being at $2.21 for back-to-back weeks.
$2.18The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded on Monday in the Bradenton-Sarasota area, according to AAA, down from $2.20 a week ago.
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A year ago, the average in the Bradenton-Sarasota area was $2.05.
“The pump-price dip is tied to declining demand and reduced prices of crude oil and wholesale gasoline,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Gulf Coast refiners are coming back from autumn maintenance, so some more modest wholesale price relief may occur, which would bring continued relief at the pump.”
In 2015, the statewide average dipped from $2.09 to $2.00 from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, though analysts say the price of crude oil will have to fall much lower for motorists to see drops similar to last year during the final two months of 2016.
$2.05The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded this time last year in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.
Crude oil averaged about $40 per barrel during the final two months of 2015; it’s been averaging close to $50 in recent weeks. Analysts predict prices will remain at about $50 per barrel for the next month in advance of OPEC’s Nov. 30 meeting.
Nearby, the average in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater was at $2.16, down from $2.19 last week. Statewide, the average was $2.23, a slight drop from $2.25 a week earlier.
The national average was $2.21, down from $2.22 last week.