CAPE CORAL, Fla. — For the first time since March, gas prices in Southwest Florida are returning to – or have already dipped below – the $4 per gallon benchmark.
Early Monday morning, several stations along Pine Island Road in Cape Coral were pricing regular unleaded at $3.99 per gallon, a line hearkening back to our original report about the impending rise in fuel costs.
Naples is the most expensive regional gasoline market in the state; AAA reports an average of $4.38/gal, two cents above the West Palm Beach area.
AAA says the statewide average is $4.10/gal. Prices dropped an average of 17 cents last week, the largest weekly decline since they began falling almost six weeks ago.
The state average peaked at $4.89/gal in mid-June, and AAA expects the statewide number to dip below $4 sometime this week.
“Gas prices continue their downward march, after another week of losses in the oil market and underwhelming gasoline demand figures,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. News out of the European Union helped to ease global supply concerns. The EU has reportedly loosened sanctions, allowing Russian state-owned companies to deliver fuel, in effort to help boost supplies. The lower price of crude lowers the cost of producing gasoline.
The U.S. price for crude oil settled at $94.70 per barrel on Friday. That’s $2.89 (3%) less than the week before.