CLEVELAND - Oil futures have dropped more than 15 percent this month to just under $90 a barrel -- the lowest level since October 21. And analysts said this should lead to lower gas prices.
Gasoline prices already have dropped about 26 cents nationwide since early April. The national average is now at $3.68 a gallon.
In northeast Ohio, the averages were higher as of Thursday morning. According to AAA's fuel guage report, the average in the Canton-Massillon area was $3.75, the average in Akron was $3.77 and the average in the Cleveland-Elyria was $3.73. The Youngstown-Warren area was a relative bargain at $3.68.
(But drivers can find prices lower than the averages. Check out the lowest prices around town on our gas prices page , found in the Traffic section.)
Analysts said there was not an immediate drop in gas prices because the lower oil prices are quoted in futures, which are contracts to buy something at a given price in the future. The oil used to make the gas already in pumps, was bought when the price of oil was higher.
There was no immediate explanation on why prices in northeast Ohio were higher than the national average.
Experts said the price drop at the pump would trickle down in the weeks to come. Some predicted the price for regular unleaded could drop to $3.50 nationwide by July 4.
Concerns about a weaker global economy was the biggest cause of the drop, specifically the European debt crisis. Also, tensions with Iran have diminished, analysts said.