But the auto club nationally prices have remained flat.
Towson, Md (KM). Gasoline prices on the national level have remained flat so far in August, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. But the auto club says they’ve been on an up and down ride in Maryland. “It seems like a week ago prices were on the uptick, as much as three-cents higher. Now this week we’re seeing prices two-cents lower,” says spokeswoman Christine Delise.
During the previous week, Delise says demand from motorists reached an all time high, but inventories were not keeping pace. Now, it’s the other way around. “Sometimes, we see this in August. We see where there’s a little bit of a decline in demand, We see prices stabilize a bit as the summer winds and people wrap up their last vacation of the season,” she says.
But with the prices going up and down all the time, Delise says it would be difficult to predict what the cost of filling up will be during the Labor Day Weekend. “Such an anomaly in 2018 for gas prices. When we typically see gas prices decline, we saw them rise. And when we expected them to rise, they declined,” says Delise.
AAA says the average price at the pump in Maryland is $2.83 per gallon, a drop from $2.87, but up from $2.35 a year ago at this time. The auto club says the largest weekly declines are in the Salisbury and state’s Metro areas. In Frederick, the average price is $2.84 per gallon, which is the same as the week before. Nationally, the average price is $2.86 per gallon, according to AAA.
The Energy Information Administration says gasoline prices declined last week after a smaller-than-expected draw down of crude oil inventories. Total crude oil inventories dropped by 1.35-million barrels last week, bringing the supply to 407.4-million barrels, which is 68-million barrels lower than then this time last year, according to EIA.
Delise says gasoline prices could continue this downward trend through the Labor Day Weekend and beyond, but that’s hard to say right now. “It all depends on what happens with geo-political issues, hurricanes,” she says. “I understand now that the hurricane forecast has been revised. We aren’t anticipating as many hurricanes for the remainder of the season.”
AAA says anyone who wants to find the lowest gasoline prices in their communities can go to Fuel Price Finder at AAA.com/fuelfinder. Fuel Price Calculator is available to help with travel expenses. It’s at FuelCostCalculator.AAA.com. And motorists can go to Trip Tik Mobile at AAA.com/mobile to plot fuel prices along their travel route.
By Kevin McManus