MIAMI - A surge in oil prices started to show up at gas pumps in Florida, as the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded increased 9 cents during the past week.
The average price was $3.69 a gallon Monday, up from $3.60 a week earlier, according to the AAA auto club.
Increased oil prices, due in large part to production cuts by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members, offset what should typically be the start of a decline in prices in mid-September as demand slows and retailers begin to convert from summer to winter blends of gas.
"Oil costs are putting upward pressure on pump prices, but the rise is tempered by much lower demand," AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a prepared statement.
"The slide in people fueling up is typical, with schools back in session, the days getting shorter, and the weather less pleasant. But the usual decline in pump prices is being stymied for now by these high oil costs."
The state's highest prices are in areas such as West Palm Beach and Naples. Parts of the Panhandle had the lowest average prices.
The national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded Monday was $3.88. Refiners converting to a winter blend of gas usually can produce a 10- to 30-cent drop in prices.
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