Florida gas prices on the rise again

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Florida’s average price Monday morning was $3.61.

After being treated to 10 consecutive weekly declines in the average price of a gallon of gasoline, Florida drivers were hit with a price increase in the past week, as gas rose again to $3.61.

The 7-cent increase in the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Florida was the first rise since mid-June, when gas was selling for a record $4.89 per gallon.

At one point two weeks ago, gas was down to $3.53. Florida began last week at $3.54.

International market dynamics are coming home to the gas pumps.

“Gas prices are rising in response to a recent oil price hike, due to reports that Saudi Arabia could lower fuel output in an effort to raise prices,” Mark Jenkins, spokesman for AAA — The Auto Club Group, said in a news release.

“The U.S. price of oil rose a total of 5% over the course of the past three weeks. This is not a significant oil price hike, so gas prices may not go much higher, but that could change if there are additional gains in the fuel market this week. As we move into peak hurricane season, a major storm could contribute to rising prices, if it threatens refineries along the Texas, Louisiana or Mississippi coast lines.”

AAA once again found Florida’s lowest prices in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach market, where gas was averaging $3.39 per gallon. That was followed by Pensacola at $3.42; Panama City at $3.46; Orlando at $3.58; St. Petersburg and Fort Myers at $3.59; Jacksonville at $3.60; and Tampa at $3.61.

Florida’s most expensive gasoline, as usual, was found in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton market, where it was averaging $3.79 per gallon. That was followed by Tallahassee at $3.67; Miami and Fort Lauderdale at $3.65; Naples at $3.64; Gainesville at $3.63, and Sarasota at $3.62.

AAA updates its report of gas prices every day by surveying up to 130,000 stations nationwide, based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express.

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