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By: Ragina C. Ali, AAA Mid-Atlantic
Maryland drivers experienced another week of decreasing gas prices as national gasoline demand dropped to its lowest point since spring of 1968. The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report puts demand at a nearly 52-year low, and it’s likely to push lower as Americans are urged to stay at home. Maryland’s gas price average is 77 cents less than one year ago, however, the decline has slowed to single-digit weekly decreases. AAA Mid-Atlantic believes gas prices are positioned to see decreases in the week ahead, possibly at larger decline rates.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $1.96, which is down respectively three cents in the last week, 36 cents in the last month, and 73 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $1.88, down respectively seven cents in the last week, 48 cents in the last month and 88 cents from this time last year.
At the close of NYMEX trading Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $22.76 per barrel, $5.58 lower than last Friday’s close. This week, prices hovered between $22 and $26 per barrel, more than $35 less than one year ago. OPEC+ leaders Saudi Arabia and Russia arrived at a decision to reduce crude production late Thursday, ending a bitter oil war. Members will decrease overall crude oil production by 10 million barrels per day starting May 1 through June 30.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
|Today||Week Ago||Month Ago||Year Ago|
|Washington Suburbs(MD only)||$2.09||$2.12||$2.43||$2.77|
|Crude Oil||$22.76per barrel(4/9/20)||$28.34per barrel(4/3/20)||$31.73per barrel(3/13/20)||$63.89per barrel(4/12/19)|
“Gasoline demand continues to decline as many people adhere to stay at home orders,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Despite recent crude oil volatility and this week’s OPEC agreement to reduce production, any potential increases in crude oil prices are not likely to have an impact on gas prices in the near term.”
The Week Ahead
For the April–September 2020 summer driving season, EIA forecasts U.S. regular gasoline retail prices will average $1.58 per gallon, down from an average of $2.72 per gallon last summer. The lower forecast gasoline prices reflect lower forecast crude oil prices and significantly lower gasoline demand in the second quarter of 2020 driven by COVID-19 travel restrictions and disruptions to domestic economic activity. For all of 2020, EIA expects U.S. regular gasoline retail prices to average $1.86 per gallon and gasoline retail prices for all grades to average $1.97 per gallon.