US gasoline prices to fall through 2014, consumption rates flat

08 January 2013 18:47  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Falling crude prices and a low consumption rate will cause retail gasoline prices in the US to fall in 2013 and 2014, a government agency said on Tuesday.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects that falling crude prices will help lower national average regular gasoline retail prices from an average $3.63/gal in 2012 to annual averages of $3.44/gal and $3.34/gal in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the first to include 2014 forecasts, the EIA said total US liquid fuels consumption fell from an average 20.8m bbl/day in 2005 to 18.6m bbl/day in 2012.

The agency expects total consumption to rise slowly over the next two years to an average 18.8m bbl/day in 2014, driven by increases in distillate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption, while gasoline and jet fuel consumption remain flat.

“Forecast motor gasoline consumption in 2013 and 2014 remains almost unchanged from 2012 because continued slow growth in the driving-age population and highway travel is offset by improvements in the average fuel economy of new vehicles and retirement of older, less-fuel-efficient vehicles,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the EIA expects distillate consumption to increase as trucking continues to grow, winter temperatures return to near normal, and coal and grain production begin to recover in the second half of 2013 and into 2014.

Planned expansions at several ethylene plants in 2013 will lead to increases in LPG consumption of 40,000 bbl/day in 2013 and 30,000 bbl/day in 2014.

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By: Anna Matherne

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