By: Ragina C. Ali, Mid-Atlantic AAA
Maryland gas prices haven’t changed much in the last week, as many residents get ready to hit the roads for the year-end holidays. Most areas in Maryland are seeing prices within a few pennies of just one month ago. AAA forecasts that motorists can expect gas prices to edge cheaper in the coming weeks as regional refinery rates and gasoline stocks increase throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.45, which is up one cent in the last week, down two cents from last month, and up 16 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.55, down respectively a penny in the last week and four cents in the last month, but up 19 cents from this time last year.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
|Today||Week Ago||Month Ago||Year Ago|
|Washington Suburbs(MD only)||$2.54||$2.53||$2.56||$2.46|
|Crude Oil||$60.44per barrel(12/20/19)||$60.07per barrel(12/13/19)||$57.77per barrel(11/22/19)||$45.59per barrel(12/21/18)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $60.44 per barrel, 37 cents higher than last Friday’s close. Prices have remained over the $60 mark since last Friday. Crude hovered near its highest price in three months Thursday, supported by news that U.S. crude inventories had declined and that U.S. and China trade tensions continued to ease. Oil has also gained momentum from announcements about deeper output production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers, beginning January 1.
“As millions of Americans plan to travel for the year-end holiday season, local gas prices remain relatively stable,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Regional gasoline stocks are at healthy levels thanks to imports, which are assisting in keeping the year-over-year gas price difference under 20 cents.”
The Week Ahead
The reduction in global crude supply is expected to help drain the market, which will likely be oversupplied during the first half of next year. This could potentially mean more expensive crude oil and gas prices in January as compared to the start of recent years, assuming crude demand remains robust.