Gas prices falling as hurricane punch fades
Central Florida gas prices are falling, a seasonal trend delayed by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Gas prices have dropped 10 cents in Metro Orlando during the last week, averaging $2.41 a gallon for regular unleaded Thursday, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge report Wednesday.
But it could be headed lower as several stations in the area have dropped the price for a gallon of fuel to $2.31 a gallon.
Gas prices often swing downward in October as refineries move off of environmentally friendly summer fuel blends. Demand also drops after the summer driving season.
But Hurricane Harvey temporarily shut down some Gulf Coast refineries in late August and Hurricane Irma caused gas station supply issues in mid-September.
Prices at Metro Orlando pumps reached a high of $2.71 from Sept. 7-16. Prices hadn’t been that high here since December 2014; that year, the peak was $3.71 in April.
With oil trading for about $50 a barrel early this week on the New York Mercantile Exchange, prices should be lower.
Some analysts saw price drops coming after Monday’s price was $2.46: "Gas prices remain inflated by about 20 to 30 cents and should decline another 5-10 cents this week,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said Monday. "... Retail prices continue to recover from the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey."
Orlando’s fuel prices are 9 cents a gallon below the Florida average of $2.50. The national average is $2.48 a gallon, according to AAA.
Even with gas prices falling, it’s still much higher than a year ago. Gas was selling for $2.13 a gallon in Central Florida a year ago.
It could take more time for the impacts of Harvey and Irma to fully dissipate, said Gasbuddy senior analyst Greg DeHaan in a statement.
“Nationally, prices still stand about 15 cents per gallon higher than their pre-Harvey level, but the gap will continue to slow as prices slowly trickle down," he said.