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Memorial Day Weekend gas prices haven’t been below $2/Gallon since 2003
Pump prices have increased across the country as gasoline demand and crude oil prices trickle higher, and more states reopen businesses. Despite the increases, the last time the national average was less than $2 a gallon heading into a Memorial Day Weekend was in 2003.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $1.99, which is up respectively nine cents in the last week and seven cents in the last month, but down 80 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $1.94, up eight cents in the last week, up 14 cents in the last month and down 90 cents from this time last year.
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $33.25 per barrel, $3.82 higher than last Friday’s close. Domestic crude saw six consecutive days of price increases this week, amid growing market optimism that oil demand may be rebounding as states reopen and more people are driving. Additionally, crude prices have increased as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to implement its 9.7 million barrels per day production reduction agreement for May and June 2020 with other large producers, including Russia.
“Although gas prices in Maryland are trending higher, most local drivers are paying about 80 cents less than one year ago,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Despite inexpensive gas prices, AAA anticipates this year’s Memorial Day holiday will likely set a record low for travel volume.”
The Week Ahead
Gasoline demand could see a short-lived spike this weekend if Americans choose to travel during the holiday weekend, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend that Americans stay home and avoid nonessential travel. Last year, AAA Mid-Atlantic forecast a record-setting 918,000 Marylanders would travel 50 miles or more for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. This year will look much different. For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue a Memorial Day travel forecast, as the accuracy of the economic data used to create the forecast has been undermined by COVID-19. With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.