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

The Week

Maryland motorists continue to see gas prices take a bite out of their budget, as some local averages gained as much as eight cents in the last seven days. Gasoline inventories dropped this week, while demand for gas is expected to increase for the Memorial Day holiday next week.  In addition, the price of oil (the biggest stressor on pump prices) remains above $71 per barrel, $20 more than this time last year.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.91 per gallon, which is up five cents in the last week, up 18 cents in the last month and 57 cents higher than this time last year.

 

Maryland’s average cost at the pump is a penny lower than the national average at $2.90 per gallon.  The state average is six cents more than last week, up 18 cents from last month, and 59 cents more than last year on this date.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $71.49 per barrel, nearly on par with the previous week’s price. Oil prices climbed to new highs for 2018 last week, following President Trump’s decision to re-impose economic sanctions on Iran and withdraw the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

 

Set in 2015, the deal lifted economic sanctions in exchange for Iran downsizing its nuclear program. Some of the pre-2015 sanctions targeted the Iranian energy sector and impeded Iran’s ability to sell oil. With those sanctions being re-imposed in the next three to six months, Iran’s crude exports are forecasted to decrease, contributing to already declining global crude supplies amid growing global demand. Increased fears of instability in the region may push oil prices even higher.  

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

5/18/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.91

 

$2.86

 

$2.73

 

$2.34

 

Maryland

 

$2.90

 

$2.84

 

$2.72

 

$2.31

 

Annapolis

 

$2.89

 

$2.81

 

$2.69

 

$2.38

 

Baltimore

 

$2.90

 

$2.82

 

$2.70

 

$2.28

 

Cumberland

 

$2.89

 

$2.87

 

$2.85

 

$2.42

 

Frederick

 

$2.91

 

$2.85

 

$2.72

 

$2.29

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.86

 

$2.85

 

$2.75

 

$2.34

 

Salisbury

 

$2.83

 

$2.79

 

$2.65

 

$2.19

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.96

 

$2.89

 

$2.78

 

$2.34

 

Crude Oil

 

$71.49

per barrel

(Thursday, 5/17/18)

 

$71.36

per barrel

(Thursday, 5/10/18)

 

$66.52

per barrel

(4/17/18)

 

$49.07

per barrel

(5/17/17)

 

 

The Weekend

“The unofficial start of summer is less than a week away and motorists are gearing up to take to the roads,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Though prices at the pump are likely to be the most expensive since 2014, AAA is projecting the highest Memorial Day holiday weekend travel volume nationwide since 2005.”

 

The Week Ahead

While AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the highest gas prices since 2014, the vast majority of holiday travelers nationwide (88 percent) are still planning to hit the road. Automobile travel will grow by 4.7 percent this Memorial Day, with 36.6 million Americans planning a road trip.  In total, AAA projects that nearly 42 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Memorial Day weekend, creating the highest Memorial Day travel volume in more than a dozen years. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 24 to Monday, May 28.

 

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 25, 2018

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Mailing Address:
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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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