WILMINGTON, Del. — Local gas prices continued to decline this week ahead of the busy Thanksgiving holiday, which is welcome news for Maryland motorists getting ready for a holiday road trip.
AAA anticipates the highest travel volume for the holiday since 2005, so declining gas prices are something to be thankful for this year. While prices hover closely to last Thanksgiving’s price levels, price volatility is still possible through the end of the month.
The gas price average in Maryland today is $2.46, which is down one cent in the last week, down two cents from last month, and is up two cents from this date last year.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.59, down one cent in the last week, down five cents in the last month and up one cent from this time last year.
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled $57.77 per barrel, 5 cents higher than last Friday’s close. Crude prices jumped yesterday, surging more than two percent to levels not seen since September. The cause is most likely reports that OPEC and its allies may extend cuts in output through the middle of next year. News of a new round of U.S. and China trade talks also helped push prices higher.
“AAA anticipates the second-highest automobile travel volume on record for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period, which will likely cause demand for retail gasoline to increase,” said Ragina C. Ali, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Rising crude prices and an increase in gasoline demand may result in price fluctuations through the end of November.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic estimates nearly 1.15 million Marylanders will travel 50 miles or more for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with 1.04 million traveling by car, representing 91% of all holiday travelers. This will mark the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005. For the majority of Americans, AAA expects gas prices to be fairly similar to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday.