By: Ragina C Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
Drivers across Maryland are benefitting from a mid-winter slump at the pump. Gasoline and crude oil inventories have increased while the demand for gasoline has decreased, leading to another week of lower prices. Crude oil prices have dropped $9.62 per barrel (16%) since the beginning of the year ($61.18) and are on track to continue that trend on the heels of fears over the coronavirus.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.38, which is down respectively six cents in the last week and 14 cents in the last month, yet is within 15 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.48, down respectively five cents in the last week and a dime in the last month, yet up 23 cents from this time last year.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
Today Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago National $2.48 $2.53 $2.58 $2.25 Maryland $2.38 $2.44 $2.52 $2.23 Annapolis $2.33 $2.39 $2.48 $2.19 Baltimore $2.34 $2.40 $2.49 $2.19 Cumberland $2.59 $2.66 $2.69 $2.29 Frederick $2.36 $2.42 $2.50 $2.20 Hagerstown $2.49 $2.51 $2.57 $2.25 Salisbury $2.28 $2.34 $2.46 $2.13 Washington Suburbs(MD only) $2.50 $2.54 $2.58 $2.34 Crude Oil $51.56per barrel(1/31/20) $54.19per barrel(1/24/20) $63.05per barrel(1/3/20) $55.16per barrel(2/1/19)
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $51.56 per barrel, $2.63 less than last Friday’s close. Crude oil prices have become another target of the coronavirus outbreak in China. As more airlines cancel flights to China’s major cities and the World Health Organization declares a global health emergency, worries rise over the potential economic impact from the continued spread of the virus, further pushing the price of crude lower.
“Local drivers continue to benefit from another week of lower prices at the pump, a result of lower crude prices, lower demand and increases in gas and oil stocks,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The slump at the pump should continue through the middle of February, especially if crude oil prices continue to slide.”
The Week Ahead
In the January 2020 update of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that U.S. crude oil production will average 13.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2020, a 9% increase from 2019 production levels, and 13.7 million b/d in 2021, a 3% increase from 2020.