Consumer catch a break at pump due to falling crude prices

News Release, AAA-MidAtlantic

The Week

Drivers throughout Maryland, as well as across the country, continue to find cheaper prices at the pump, thanks to declining crude oil prices. AAA believes drivers may have already seen the highest prices of the year and could see a summer average (Memorial Day to Labor Day) below that of last year’s, which reached $2.87 a gallon.

Prices in Maryland dropped by six cents in the last week, are 14 cents lower than last month and 22 cents lower than on this date last year. 

Today’s national gas price average is $2.77, which is down five cents in the last week, down 11 cents in the last month, and is 16 cents less than last year’s price.


CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 Today Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
 National $2.77 $2.82 $2.88 $2.93
 Maryland $2.67 $2.73 $2.81 $2.89
 Annapolis $2.61 $2.69 $2.78 $2.85
 Baltimore $2.62 $2.71 $2.79 $2.86
 Cumberland $2.83 $2.86 $2.87 $2.94
 Frederick $2.64 $2.72 $2.80 $2.87
 Hagerstown $2.70 $2.74 $2.77 $2.83
 Salisbury $2.53 $2.56 $2.69 $2.75
 Washington Suburbs(MD only) $2.78 $2.83 $2.88 $2.98
 Crude Oil $53.99per barrel(Fri. 6/7/19) $53.50per barrel(5/31/19) $61.66per barrel(5/10/19) $65.74per barrel(6/8/18)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $53.99 per barrel, 49 cents higher than last Friday’s close. Wednesday’s closing price of $51.68 was the lowest posting since mid-January. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report not only showed an increase in crude supplies but also an increase in gasoline inventories, helping push pump prices lower. In addition, U.S. crude production is at record levels. This year, the most expensive WTI crude oil prices, which AAA tracks to understand impact on pump prices, have ranged between $65 and $66 per barrel. Most recently, WTI crude fell below $52 per barrel, which is cheaper than last summer when most daily prices hovered just under $70 per barrel.

The Weekend

For consumers today, paying more to fill-up their gas tank may feel less shocking due to the national average pushing within pennies of $3 a gallon the last two spring seasons,” says Jeanette Tejeda de Gomez, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “However, there is good news for consumers this summer – the highest prices of the year could be in the rearview mirror. With most refineries operating at normal levels, demand at robust rates, and cheaper crude oil prices, summer gas prices are poised to be a little less than last year –dropping as much as a dime to lower the national average to $2.70.”

The Week Ahead

While crude prices have been cheaper this year, AAA is monitoring a number of circumstances that could cause crude oil market prices to increase. This includes reductions in global and domestic crude supply, exports, and U.S. gasoline demand.The price of crude is a driving factor when it comes to retail gasoline prices, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the price motorists see at the pump year-round.

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