Average retail gasoline prices in the Bradenton-Sarasota area have risen 13.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.30 a gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 308 area gas outlets.
This compares with the national average that has increased 3.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.36 a gallon, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
"Florida gas prices have the potential to rise this week depending on the impact of the tropical system moving across the Gulf of Mexico," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "Florida gasoline is predominantly imported by tanker ships from refineries in Louisiana and Texas. If the storm leads to fuel shipment delays, prices at the pump could increase."
The Atlantic hurricane season will be a wild card for gas prices in the coming months. As the 2016 season gets underway, attention will be focused on the Gulf Coast region because it is home to more than 45 percent of the U.S.’s total petroleum refining capacity. Should any severe storms or hurricanes reach landfall, production, refining and distribution could be impacted, AAA reported.
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Prices in Bradenton-Sarasota are 37.7 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago, and are 13.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 14.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 39.5 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago, GasBuddy reported.
In Florida, prices area averaging $2.34 a gallon, up 9.9 cents per gallon from last week's $2.24 a gallon.
“The first week of the summer driving season saw the national average price of gasoline rise by less than 4 cents per gallon, but some states saw much greater volatility resulting from regional refinery setbacks and/or wholesale fuel spikes,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
“Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan saw their respective state averages increase from 5 to 10 cents per gallon in recent days; impacted by an unplanned outage at Detroit’s Marathon refinery and a jump in Chicago wholesale which closed the week at the highest price level in the country,” he said in a release.
“But it was Florida that saw the greatest increase in retail prices nationwide with its average jumping by 10 cents per gallon triggered by a mid-week spike in Gulf Coast wholesale fuel. Texas, Louisiana and Alabama prices at the pump also increased, but only by half the amount seen in the Sunshine State, where motorists pay the highest gasoline taxes in the Southeast,” Laskoski added.