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

TOWSON, MD (September 10, 2018) – Week-over-week, the national gas price average jumped a penny to land at $2.85. Prices remained relatively stable across most of the country, as gasoline demand dipped slightly and gasoline inventories incrementally built according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. However, Maryland and some of its metro areas, particularly Baltimore and Salisbury, experienced significant weekly increases.

 

With the switchover to winter-blend gasoline fast approaching (September 15), gas prices are expected to decline this month. However, the threat of Hurricane Florence — which is now a Category 2 storm and projected to hit between South Carolina and Virginia by end of this week —will likely have an impact on East Coast gas prices this week should the storm follow its projected path.

 

“A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases before the storm strikes, and then a slowdown in gas demand post-hurricane. Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “AAA will continue to monitor the storm and will provide updates. Motorists can find the latest gas prices at GasPrices.AAA.com.”

 

Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Gasoline Prices and Supplies

Delaware saw gas prices make a late-in-the-season 12-cents spike on the week, which was the largest jump in the country and in the region, while Maryland’s average rose four cents to $2.83 per gallon. The state average is unchanged from last month and nine cents higher than last year’s price on this date.

 

Baltimore and Annapolis’ average price each increased by six cents, while the highest weekly increase in the state can be found in Salisbury, with the metro area reporting an 11 cents average increase from week ago prices. Part of these increases could be connected to a recent drop in regional refinery utilization that is linked to the unplanned shutdown at Phillip’s Bayway refinery in New Jersey last month.

 

As most states saw prices decline, four Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state averages still remained at $3 per gallon or more heading into fall: Pennsylvania ($3.07), Connecticut ($3.04), New York ($3.00) and Washington, D.C. ($3.00).

 

Last week, all eyes were on tropical storm Gordon. This week it is Hurricane Florence, which will most likely impact North Carolina and Virginia pump prices and surrounding states if the storm stays on its projected path.

 

For a second week, gasoline inventories in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region added a surprise build of nearly 2 million barrels, which is helping to keep most state gas price averages steady. Sources say a good bit of the inventory uptick can be attributed to strong imports. Total inventory for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast sits at 66 million barrels.

 

 

CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 

 

9/10/18

 

Week Ago

 

Month Ago

 

Year Ago

 

National

 

$2.85

 

$2.84

 

$2.87

 

$2.67

 

Maryland

 

$2.83

 

$2.79

 

$2.83

 

$2.74

 

Annapolis

 

$2.80

 

$2.74

 

$2.80

 

$2.71

 

Baltimore

 

$2.81

 

$2.75

 

$2.80

 

$2.73

 

Cumberland

 

$2.94

 

$2.95

 

$2.91

 

$2.70

 

Frederick

 

$2.83

 

$2.79

 

$2.84

 

$2.72

 

Hagerstown

 

$2.86

 

$2.87

 

$2.87

 

$2.78

 

Salisbury

 

$2.78

 

$2.67

 

$2.76

 

$2.67

 

Washington Suburbs

(MD only)

 

$2.91

 

$2.90

 

$2.92

 

$2.78

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil dropped two cents from Thursday’s close to settle at $67.75 per barrel. The drop in the price of crude oil can be attributed to several factors including increasing U.S. gasoline inventories, wariness regarding U.S. sanctions against Iran, and production instability in Libya and Venezuela.

 

According to EIA’s report, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels last week and are about seven percent above the five-year average for this time of year. At the same time, crude oil stocks dropped 4.3 million barrels from the previous week, as refinery utilization rates reached 96.6 percent.

 

These market dynamics are mostly keeping gas prices flat, but a factor that may negatively impact prices is the threat of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic. While it is still too early to pinpoint exactly where it will make landfall, the National Hurricane Center reports landfall could occur somewhere between South Carolina and Virginia late this week.

 

 

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

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Mailing Address:
8600 LaSalle Road, Ste 639
Towson, MD 21286

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 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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