10 January 2012 22:47 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US retail gasoline prices for 2012 will average $3.48/gal, down 4 cents from 2011, as gasoline consumption continues to decline, a government agency said on Tuesday.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasted a national average price for unleaded gasoline of $3.48/gal in 2012 and $3.55/gal in 2013.
The April through September peak driving season would see retail prices on average five cents higher than the average price during the other six months of the year.
In 2011, consumption of motor gasoline slipped by 240,000 bbl/day, or 2.7%, compared with 2010. This largely influenced the decline for the total US liquid fuels consumption by about 310,000 bbl/day, or 1.6%, compared with 2010.
Distillate consumption was up by 50,000 bbl/day, compared with 2010. The increased consumption was largely due to recovery in industrial output.
The EIA said changes for consumption would be minimal in 2012 and 2013.
Consumption for motor gasoline is expected to drop by 20,000 bbl/day in 2012 and another 20,000 bbl/day in 2013.
The slowing population for Americans of driving-age, in addition to the improved fuel economy of new vehicles, has put gasoline consumption at a decline.
The US was a net exporter of petroleum products in 2011 for the first time since 1949. Gross product exports averaged 380,000 bbl/day more than gross product imports. The EIA expects the US to continue as a net exporter of products, with net exports averaging 310,000 bbl/day in 2012 and 290,000 bbl/day in 2013.
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