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EIA Raises Estimate for U.S. Gasoline Demand and Prices

Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Energy Information Administration raised its 2013 forecast for gasoline consumption by 0.1 percent from last month’s estimate to 8.7 million barrels a day.

Gasoline demand in 2014 may be 8.66 million barrels a day, down from last month’s forecast of 8.67 million, the statistical arm of the Energy Department said today in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook.

The agency increased the outlook for regular-grade gasoline in 2013 by 4 cents to $3.56 a gallon. Prices in the fourth quarter will average $3.44 a gallon.

“EIA expects gasoline prices to slowly fall from their recent highs as crude oil prices begin to decline, the summer driving season comes to a close, and gasoline prices are forecast to average $3.44 per gallon during the fourth quarter from their summer peak of $3.68 in late July,” EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said in an e-mailed statement.

The average price in 2014 may be $3.43 a gallon, 6 cents above the August estimate of $3.37. Prices in 2012 averaged $3.63 a gallon.

Distillate demand, including diesel and heating oil, will be 3.86 million barrels a day this year, unchanged from last month’s outlook. The estimate for 2014 consumption was increased to 3.91 million barrels a day from the previous forecast of 3.88 million.

On-road diesel will average $3.96 a gallon this year, up from last month’s forecast of $3.92. Next year, prices may drop to $3.82 a gallon, compared with last month’s estimate of $3.76.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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