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

The Week

While the national average has risen this week, Maryland’s average price is holding steady with many metro areas following suit. However, a number of other areas across the state are seeing prices start to creep higher since last week, falling in line with AAA’s forecast of a price spike this spring. Most notable are the significant price increases in parts of Western Maryland.  Only Salisbury experienced a weekly drop in the average price but only by a penny.

 

Today’s national average price is $2.54 per gallon, which is more than two cents from last week, but remains lower by six cents versus last month.  Compared to last year on this date, the national average is up by 22 cents per gallon.

 

Maryland’s average is four cents lower than the national price at $2.50 per gallon, which is unchanged from last week and 11 cents less than last month, but 21 cents higher than last year’s price on this date.  Hagerstown and Frederick are experiencing the highest weekly increases, as Hagerstown’s average price of the pump rose eight cents per gallon, while Frederick’s price is up four cents.

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $60.99 per barrel, a decrease of $1.78 from the previous week’s closing cost. Crude prices have been trending downward this week, as U.S. crude production continues to soar. In the latest weekly report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) stated that crude oil inventories increased by 3.0 million barrels. Some analysts believe that U.S. oil production alone could cause the global market to shift from a roughly balanced dynamic to a surplus. 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

3/2/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.54

 

$2.52

 

$2.60

 

$2.32

 

Maryland

 

$2.50

 

$2.50

 

$2.61

 

$2.29

 

Annapolis

 

$2.46

 

$2.45

 

$2.58

 

$2.25

 

Baltimore

 

$2.47

 

$2.47

 

$2.60

 

$2.26

 

Cumberland

 

$2.65

 

$2.65

 

$2.67

 

$2.41

 

Frederick

 

$2.51

 

$2.47

 

$2.60

 

$2.27

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.63

 

$2.55

 

$2.67

 

$2.33

 

Salisbury

 

$2.38

 

$2.39

 

$2.56

 

$2.20

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.58

 

$2.57

 

$2.66

 

$2.35

 

Crude Oil

 

$60.99

per barrel

(Thursday, 3/1/18)

 

$62.77

per barrel

(Thursday, 2/22/18

 

$65.80

per barrel

(2/1/18)

 

$53.83

per barrel

(3/1/17)

 

The Weekend

“Unfortunately, the price drop at the pumps throughout Maryland has stalled this week and even reversed course in some areas of the state,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “This could be an indication that the spring surge is starting to take hold.”

 

The Week Ahead

AAA anticipates prices to make their spring spike in early April when refinery maintenance is expected to be wrapped-up and refineries begin to make the shift to producing the more expensive summer-blend gasoline. Consumers can expect prices to continue increasing throughout April, May and into the start of summer.

 

While the auto club does not expect the national gas price to be reminiscent of 2011-2014, when motorists were paying on average $3.47 per gallon, prices are expected to jump this spring by at least 20-30 cents per gallon from current costs. Maryland prices will surge as well, but to a cost that is expected to be several cents less than the national average. The statewide average typically trends lower against the national average price at the pump.

 

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, March 9, 2018

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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 951,000 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.  AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working 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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