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By: Ragina C. Ali, Public Relations Manager AAA Mid-Atlantic
The plunge at the pump continues throughout Maryland. Drivers saw prices drop by three cents on the week, resulting in prices that are at least 81 cents less than one year ago. Across the country, gasoline demand is down as much as 50 percent, while at the same time, inventories have risen to a record high. Crude prices hit a low not seen since 2002 this week, as crude demand continued to drop. This imbalance means gas prices should continue to move lower.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $1.93, which is down respectively three cents in the last week, 29 cents in the last month, and 81 cents from this date last year.
The national gas price average has declined for seven straight weeks. Today’s national gas price average is $1.82, down respectively six cents in the last week, 41 cents in the last month and $1.01 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)||$2.07||$2.09||$2.33||$2.82|
|Crude Oil||$18.27per barrel(4/17/20)||$22.76per barrel(4/9/20)||$22.43per barrel(3/20/20)||$64.00per barrel(4/18/19)|
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $18.27 per barrel, $4.49 lower than last Thursday’s close (markets were closed last Friday). Crude’s poor performance is the result of the major slowdown in demand for oil and an expected growth in surplus supplies. On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a more than 19 million-barrel weekly increase in U.S. crude supplies – the 12th straight weekly increase and the largest weekly climb on record. A recent agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) and its allies reached Sunday, will cut crude production but will likely make little difference on pump prices given the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on crude oil prices and gasoline demand.
“As motorists in the region continue to stay at home amid COVID-19 challenges, crude and gasoline prices are likely to remain low,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The oil market is considerably oversupplied and there is an overabundance of gasoline, coupled with demand levels not seen in over 50 years, pushing pump prices lower.”
The Week Ahead
In a report Thursday, OPEC cut its expectations for crude demand and said it now sees 2020 demand falling by 6.8 million barrels a day. The near-term demand picture remains front and center as well, with analysts looking for it to continue sliding at least through May.