Christine Delise
Sr. Public Relations Specialist, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361153)
C: (443) 244-7253
cdelise@aaamidatlantic.com

The Week

While many Maryland drivers found temporary relief at the pump last week, this week prices were back on the rise again.  Weekly increases ranged from four cents per gallon in the Maryland suburbs of Washington to as high as eight cents per gallon in Salisbury. Cumberland was the only metro area not reporting an increase – a bit of relief to motorists filling up in that locale, as Cumberland prices are already among the highest in the state.

 

Prior to the announcement of the U.S. withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, gas prices were expected to continue to rise ahead of Memorial Day, but reinstated sanctions on Iran could mean gas prices will continue climbing deep into the summer driving season.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.86, which is up four cents in the last week, up 20 cents in the last month, and 52 cents higher than this time last year.  The year-over-year price difference is the highest to-date for 2018.

 

Maryland’s average cost at the pump is two cents lower than the national average at $2.84 per gallon.  The state average is six cents more than last week and up 16 cents from last month.  Compared to last year on this date, Maryland’s average is up by 53 cents per gallon.  Just like the national average, this reflects the highest year-over-year price difference to-date.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $71.36 per barrel, up $2.93 from the previous week’s price. WTI hit new multi-year highs this week, closing above the $70 threshold for two consecutive days, likely three, based on trading as of noon Friday.  The commodity is now trading at a price that is over $20 more than one year ago.  The U.S. decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and reinstate sanctions against Iran could constrain global oil supplies, which could further drive up crude and gasoline prices.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

5/11/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.86

 

$2.82

 

$2.66

 

$2.34

 

Maryland

 

$2.84

 

$2.78

 

$2.68

 

$2.31

 

Annapolis

 

$2.81

 

$2.75

 

$2.66

 

$2.27

 

Baltimore

 

$2.82

 

$2.76

 

$2.66

 

$2.28

 

Cumberland

 

$2.87

 

$2.87

 

$2.69

 

$2.42

 

Frederick

 

$2.85

 

$2.80

 

$2.69

 

$2.28

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.85

 

$2.80

 

$2.68

 

$2.37

 

Salisbury

 

$2.79

 

$2.71

 

$2.61

 

$2.20

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.89

 

$2.85

 

$2.74

 

$2.39

 

Crude Oil

 

$71.36

per barrel

(Thursday, 5/10/18)

 

$68.43

per barrel

(Thursday, 5/3/18)

 

$65.51

per barrel

(4/10/18)

 

$47.33

per barrel

(5/10/17)

 

 

The Weekend

“With Memorial Day weekend less than two weeks away, drivers will likely face pump prices at their highest level since 2014,” said Christine Sarames Delise, a spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “As the summer driving season gets underway, AAA believes local prices will continue to increase, however it may be weeks before motorists see the full effects of the U.S. pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement and reimposing sanctions.”

 

The Week Ahead

Reinstated sanctions on Iran could mean gas prices will continue climbing into the summer driving season.  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted in its Short Term Energy Outlook that it expects gas prices to average $2.90 per gallon, up from the average of $2.41 last summer.  For 2018, EIA expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices to average $2.79 per gallon. Monthly average gasoline prices are forecast to reach a summer peak of $2.97 per gallon in June, before falling to $2.86 per gallon in September.

 

As drivers brace for a more expensive Memorial Day road trip and summer driving season, AAA offers tips to save on gas. Actions include using gradual acceleration, following speed limits, inflating tires properly and replacing air filters on a regular basis. One myth to saving on gas was to turn off the vehicle’s air conditioning but that is no longer the case because today’s systems operate much more efficiently and don’t drag as much on the engine.

 

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

 

  • AAA's Member Rewards Visa® Credit Card (AAA.com/financial/AAAvisa.htm) accumulates double points on fuel purchases.

     

    Next Weekend Gas Watch: Friday, May 18, 2018

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Mailing Address:
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Towson, MD 21286

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit AAA.com.

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