Maryland drivers are spending another week seeing very little change at the pump as the summer driving season wraps up. In the latest weekly report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand increased slightly but is still lower than last year. Lower demand has helped to keep pump prices stable, as total domestic gasoline stocks are also holding steady. AAA sees the potential for pump prices to drop heading into the Fall as many area schools choose to conduct classes virtually.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.25, down a penny in the last week, the same as last month, and down 31 cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.17, down respectively a penny in the last week, two cents in the last month, and 47 cents from this time last year.
CURRENT AND PAST GAS PRICE AVERAGES
Regular Unleaded Gasoline
Today Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago National $2.17 $2.18 $2.19 $2.64 Maryland $2.25 $2.26 $2.25 $2.56 Annapolis $2.25 $2.26 $2.25 $2.49 Baltimore $2.25 $2.26 $2.25 $2.51 Cumberland $2.17 $2.17 $2.24 $2.77 Frederick $2.22 $2.23 $2.23 $2.55 Hagerstown $2.10 $2.14 $2.22 $2.59 Salisbury $2.24 $2.25 $2.25 $2.43 Washington Suburbs (MD only) $2.28 $2.28 $2.27 $2.71 Crude Oil $42.01 per barrel (8/14/20) $41.22 per barrel (8/7/20) $40.59 per barrel (7/17/20) $54.87 per barrel (8/16/19)
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $42.01 per barrel, 79 cents higher than last Friday’s close. Crude prices ended lower Thursday after the International Energy Agency reduced its outlook for 2020 global oil demand. Additionally, domestic crude prices have been impacted this week by EIA’s weekly report, which revealed that total domestic inventories decreased. So far, the minimal fluctuations in crude prices have not had a noticeable impact on pump prices, but if prices increased to $45 per barrel for a prolonged period of time, consumers could see gas prices at their local station’s increase.
“The first two weeks of August are pricing out to be the second cheapest start to the month in more than a decade,” says Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA mid-Atlantic. “Gas prices have high potential to push cheaper, especially with many school districts planning for virtual learning. This could drive demand down in the weeks ahead as school starts at-home.”
The Week Ahead
The EIA reports U.S. regular gasoline retail prices averaged $2.18 per gallon in July, an increase of 10 cents per gallon from the average in June, but 56 cents a gallon lower than at the same time last year. EIA expects that gasoline prices will gradually decrease through the rest of the summer to reach an average of $2.04 a gallon in September before falling to an average of $1.99 a gallon in the fourth quarter. The EIA is forecasting U.S. regular gasoline retail prices will average $2.23 a gallon in 2021, compared with an average of $2.12 a gallon in 2020.