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

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.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.