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

The Week

As the Mid-Atlantic region braces for a severe drop in temperature, Maryland’s gas price average has been warming up, although prices in some regions of the state, notably Western Maryland, are cooling off. Maryland’s average price has been on an uptick since last week for the first time in three months.

 

The rise comes despite gasoline demand that is down from last year and gasoline inventories that are 6.1 percent higher than a year ago, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly data report released Wednesday.  The upward trend in gas prices can be attributed to rising crude oil prices.

 

Despite the increase at the pump, average prices across Maryland’s metro areas are still lower than a month ago, with the exception of Salisbury, and significantly cheaper than this time last year by 25 to 38 cents per gallon. 

 

Maryland’s average price is a penny less than the national average at $2.23 per gallon. The state average is up two cents from last week, seven cents less than last month, and 33 cents per gallon less than last year on this date.

 

The national gas price average is $2.24, which is unchanged in the last week, down 13 cents in the last month, and is 30 cents less than this time last year.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $52.07 per barrel, a 52 cents drop compared to last Thursday’s settlement price; however, the seventh consecutive trading day the commodity has settled above the $50 per barrel mark.

 

Concerns about oversupply of the crude oil market and global economic issues continue to impact markets as the U.S. and China attempt to resolve a trade squabble, which has raised questions about China’s economic health, being one of the world’s biggest importers of crude.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

 

1/18/19

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.24

 

$2.24

 

$2.37

 

$2.54

 

Maryland

 

$2.23

 

$2.21

 

$2.30

 

$2.56

 

Annapolis

 

$2.17

 

$2.14

 

$2.22

 

$2.54

 

Baltimore

 

$2.18

 

$2.14

 

$2.22

 

$2.56

 

Cumberland

 

$2.34

 

$2.36

 

$2.55

 

$2.63

 

Frederick

 

$2.20

 

$2.19

 

$2.27

 

$2.56

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.32

 

$2.35

 

$2.43

 

$2.59

 

Salisbury

 

$2.14

 

$2.10

 

$2.13

 

$2.49

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.35

 

$2.35

 

$2.48

 

$2.60

 

Crude Oil

 

$52.07

per barrel

(Thursday, 1/17/19)

 

$52.59

per barrel

(1/10/19)

 

$49.88

per barrel

(12/17/18)

 

$63.97

per barrel

(1/17/17)

 

The Weekend

Although gas prices across Maryland remain 25 to 38 cents per gallon less compared to this time last year, some drivers are noticing a slight increase in what they pay at the pump,” says Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “As crude prices remain in flux, pump prices will reflect those changes.”

 

The Week Ahead

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, EIA forecasts that U.S. regular gasoline retail prices will average $2.47 per gallon in 2019 and $2.62 per gallon in 2020, a decrease from an average of $2.73 per gallon in 2018. 

 

EIA expects WTI crude prices will average $53 per barrel in the first quarter of 2019, before rising to $57 per barrel in the fourth quarter. U.S. crude oil production averaged 10.9 million barrels per day in 2018, up 1.6 million barrels per day from 2017, reaching its highest level and seeing its largest volume growth on record. EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production to average 12.1 million barrels per day in 2019 and 12.9 million barrels per day in 2020.

 

  

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, January 25, 2019

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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to over 59 million members nationwide and more than 975,000 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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