MANATEE -- The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.04 per gallon, the lowest mark since Dec. 27, 2010, and 6 cents less than one week ago and 25 cents less than one year ago.
The national average has now dropped for 32 consecutive days for a total of 30 cents per gallon.
In Bradenton, at least 10 stations now have gas for sale under $3 per gallon.
The lowest Bradenton prices $2.90, Sam's Club, 5300 30th St. E.; $2.91, BJ's, 8085 Cooper Creek Blvd.; $2.97, Shell, 3304 53rd Ave. E.; $2.97, Shell, 7205 55th Ave. E.; Mobil, 3270 53rd Ave. E.; Circle K, 6410 State Road 64 E.; and 2.98, RaceTrac, 111 12th Ave. E.; Hess, 8604 U.S. 70; 7-Eleven, 5914 53rd Ave. E. Gas prices typically decline this time of year, but have fallen more swiftly than typical due to the sharply declining price of crude oil. The cost of crude oil accounts for approximately two-thirds of the price consumers pay for gasoline, which means, barring any other factors, gas prices continue to fall as long as crude oil prices decline.
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Monday’s national average price of gas represents an 18 percent savings compared with the 2014 high of $3.70 per gallon, which was reached April 28.
Seventeen states currently register an average gas price below $3 per gallon with drivers in South Carolina ($2.79), Tennessee ($2.79) and Mississippi ($2.80) paying the nation’s lowest average prices at the pump.
Hawaii remains the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline with an average above $4 per gallon ($4.05) followed by Alaska ($3.77), New York ($3.41) and California ($3.39).
Week-over-week, average prices are down in 40 states and Washington, D.C., with the steepest drops in the Pacific Northwest: Oregon (minus-15 cents) and Washington (minus-13 cents).
The average price for retail gasoline has ticked upward in 10 states with the price up a nickel or more compared with one week ago in six states. Drivers in Minnesota (plus-16 cents) and Oklahoma (plus-12 cents) in particular have seen prices jump over the past week due to tighter supplies even as the national average has ticked lower. While retail gasoline in these states is less expensive than both a month and year ago, pump prices could continue to buck the national trend until additional gasoline reaches those markets in early November.
Continuing unrest in Iraq and geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe have taken a backseat to an emerging belief by many market watchers that global supply – including significantly higher oil production in the United States – is outpacing global demand growth. This assessment has helped sink West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices to near $80 per barrel for the first time since June 2012 and has fueled speculation of how the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will respond to the falling price of crude.
OPEC is scheduled to convene Nov. 27 in Vienna to discuss global demand and the impact of increased production by non-OPEC countries. At the close of formal trading Friday, WTI was down $1.08 at $81.01 per barrel on the NYMEX, and prices have fallen below $80 in morning trading Monday.