Gas prices are dropping and expected to stay low through the fall

News Release, AAA

Pump prices continue to dip across Maryland this week, as the state average is down 14 cents since August 1. AAA forecasts that the majority of motorists in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region will likely find savings of potentially 25 cents/gallon compared to the average gas price this summer. Gas prices are poised to continue pushing less expensive due to several factors, including less expensive crude oil prices, the drop-off in gasoline demand after Labor Day and the move to winter-blend gasoline.

The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.51, which is down three cents in the last week, 18 cents in the last month and is 27 cents lower than on this date last year.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.60, down respectively three cents in the last week, 15 cents in the last month and 23 cents from this time last year. AAA forecasts the national average to drop to $2.40 or lower this fall.


CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

 Today Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
 National $2.60 $2.63 $2.75 $2.83
 Maryland $2.51 $2.54 $2.69 $2.78
 Annapolis $2.43 $2.47 $2.64 $2.74
 Baltimore $2.45 $2.49 $2.65 $2.75
 Cumberland $2.70 $2.76 $2.87 $2.88
 Frederick $2.50 $2.52 $2.68 $2.78
 Hagerstown $2.55 $2.58 $2.66 $2.84
 Salisbury $2.40 $2.41 $2.54 $2.66
 Washington Suburbs(MD only) $2.65 $2.68 $2.81 $2.89
 Crude Oil $54.17per barrel(8/23/19) $54.87per barrel(8/16/19) $56.20per barrel(7/26/19) $68.72per barrel(8/24/18)

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $54.17 per barrel, 70 cents lower than last Friday’s close. Prices rose higher Thursday after data showed a heavy drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, but continued concerns over the global economy kept increases temperate. The continued glut of oil encouraged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners to extend their 1.2 million b/d production reduction agreement through the end of the year. However, so far, reduced supply from OPEC and its partners has not led to a sustained higher price for crude.

The Weekend

Falling gas prices are not usual at this time of year but cheaper crude oil has served as an accelerator, which has been a nice treat for motorists as summer comes to a close,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The AAA gas price forecast also bodes well for anyone planning a road trip this fall.”

The Week Ahead

AAA predicts fall gasoline prices will be significantly less expensive than this summer with motorists finding savings in every market across the country. Many factors are driving this decrease, but the low price of crude oil is chief among them. AAA forecasts crude prices to range between $50 and $60 per barrel this fall, a considerable drop from last autumn. As always, hurricane season has the potential to cause declining gas prices to shoot back up. This month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that 2019’s Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be above normal, with 10 to 17 named storms, including five to nine hurricanes. The mere threat of a hurricane making landfall can shutter domestic crude production, leading to spikes in crude and gasoline prices.

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