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U.S. Lowers 2013 Gasoline Demand Forecast to 12-Year Low

The Energy Information Administration lowered its forecast for gasoline demand for 2013 to the lowest level in 12 years and left unchanged its forecast for summer pump prices.

Gasoline consumption this year will average 8.66 million barrels a day, lower than the 8.68 million in last month’s projection and the lowest level since 2001, the statistical arm of the Energy Department said today in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. Demand in 2014 may be 8.68 million barrels a day, down from last month’s forecast of 8.69 million.

Distillate demand, including diesel and heating oil, will be 3.82 million barrels a day this year, up from last month’s outlook of 3.8 million. Consumption in 2014 is estimated to be 3.83 million, higher than the previous forecast of 3.81 million.

U.S. consumers will pay an average 16 cents a gallon less for gasoline this summer than a year ago, unchanged from the EIA’s May forecast.

The agency expects regular-grade gasoline will average $3.53 a gallon from April through September. Diesel fuel will average $3.83 a gallon, less than the prior forecast of 3.88.

Regular-grade gasoline will average $3.49 a gallon this year, down from last month’s forecast of $3.50. Prices in 2012 averaged $3.63 a gallon.

Prices may average $3.37 in 2014, the department said, down from the May estimate of $3.39.

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