AAA says cites strong demand & tighter supplies.
Baltimore, Md (KM). Since the July 4th Holiday, the price of gasoline has been going up in Maryland. AAA Mid-Atlantic says the cost of filling up increased by 14-cents. The average price in Maryland is $2.35 per gallon, which is one-cent higher than the national average.
Spokeswoman Christine Delise says this hike in the price is due to higher demand by motorists due to summer travel, and the increasing cost of crude oil. “We’re also seeing tighter gasoline and crude oil supplies. So it seems all those factors are helping to drive prices up at the pump,” she says.
Crude oil prices closed on Thursday at $49.03 per barrel, according to AAA. It started off the week at $50.17 per barrel, a price not seen in six moths, AAA says.
Most areas in Maryland, with the exception of the western half of the state, are seeing higher gasoline prices. The average price in Hagerstown is $.2.34 per gallon, a four-cent increase from last week. In Cumberland, the average price is $2.38, also a four-cent increase. “Perhaps it could just really be that the demand is not as high, and retailers are just keeping prices in check,” says Delise.
While part of Western Maryland, Frederick is also seeing increases in the price at the pump. Delise says the local average is $2.35 per gallon, which is an increase from $2.28 per gallon last week. During the July 4th Holiday, she says the price at the pump in Frederick was $2.15 per gallon. A year ago, it was $2.06 per gallon.
Delise says the forecast is for gasoline supplies to drop and crude oil to continue going up for the rest of the summer. “It really depends on what happens to supplies; what happens to crude oil. If all those factors remain the same, we’ll likely see prices rise heading into the Labor Day Weekend,” she said. “But after that, usually the demand for gas slacks off and we see lower prices heading into winter.”
Motorists who want to get the lowest prices when they fill up can go on line to AAA’s Fuel Price Finder at AAA.com/fuelfinder. Before they leave on a trip, drivers can use the AAA Gas Cost Calculator at GasPrices.aaa.com/gas-cost calculator. Find the lowest prices while on route to your vacation destination by useisn TripTik Mobile at AAA.com/mobile.
By Kevin McManus