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

The Week

Much like last week, motorists experienced another increase in both local and national gas prices this week at a time of year when prices typically decline.  Prices continue to trend higher compared to last month as well, with some metro areas, such as Baltimore and Salisbury, reporting double-digit price increases.

 

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that despite gasoline demand increasing, gasoline inventories also increased.  Demand is expected to decrease in the coming weeks, and gas prices should follow; however, drivers should not get used to that trend, as maintenance season to prepare for summer-blend gasoline production kicks in for refineries beginning as early as next month.  Prices will typically begin to climb at that time, as refineries are taken offline, impacting supply.

 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.52, which is three cents more than last week, six cents up in the last month and 17 cents higher than this time last year.

 

The Maryland average is two cents higher than the national average at $2.54 per gallon, which is three cents higher than last week, 10 cents more than last month, and 16 cents higher than last year on this date. 

 

At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled above $60 per barrel for the ninth consecutive trading day to $63.80, which was $1.79 higher than the previous week’s close.  

 

U.S. government data revealed an eighth-straight weekly decline in U.S. crude stockpiles, and a noted decrease in domestic crude production. The market is showing greater optimism about the potential of prices continuing to climb in 2018, as OPEC’s agreement to reduce production will remain in effect through the end of this year and will help to restrain growing inventories.

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

1/12/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.52

 

$2.49

 

$2.46

 

$2.35

 

Maryland

 

$2.54

 

$2.51

 

$2.44

 

$2.38

 

Annapolis

 

$2.52

 

$2.49

 

$2.38

 

$2.36

 

Baltimore

 

$2.54

 

$2.50

 

$2.40

 

$2.38

 

Cumberland

 

$2.58

 

$2.56

 

$2.57

 

$2.46

 

Frederick

 

$2.53

 

$2.52

 

$2.46

 

$2.35

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.58

 

$2.58

 

$2.63

 

$2.39

 

Salisbury

 

$2.48

 

$2.45

 

$2.32

 

$2.35

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.58

 

$2.56

 

$2.53

 

$2.41

 

Crude Oil

 

$63.80

per barrel

(Thursday, 1/11/18)

 

$62.01

per barrel

(Thursday, 1/4/18

 

$57.99

per barrel

(12/11/17)

 

$52.25

per barrel

(1/11/17)

 

 

The Weekend

“The demand for gasoline is expected to wane in the coming weeks, as motorists hunker down for winter. This will likely result in a slight dip in prices later this month,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “However, any price drop will be short-lived with refinery maintenance season just around the corner.”

 

The Week Ahead

According to the EIA, U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.48 per gallon in December, down almost nine cents per gallon from the average in November, but 22 cents per gallon higher than at the same time last year.

 

U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.42 per gallon in 2017 and are forecast to average higher in 2018 to $2.57 per gallon and $2.58 per gallon in 2019. 

 

 

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 19, 2018

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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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