US EIA revises 2018 gasoline forecast, calls for higher prices

US EIA revises 2018 gasoline forecast, calls for higher prices

Over the past four weeks, motor gasoline products supplied averaged 9.3 million barrels per day, down 0.6 percent from the same period previous year. Gas prices edged higher last week following the Energy Information Administration's latest weekly report that showed gasoline stocks dropped by 1.1 million barrels last week. Americans are consequently expected to pay about 9% more for gasoline this year compared with 2017, EIA said. The least expensive gas price averages in Tennessee were in Memphis at $2.40, Knoxville at $2.43 and Chattanooga at $2.44.

Just how high those prices will go will depend largely on where you live, thanks to factors such as how far you live from refineries (there's a reason why Louisiana, Texas, and other Gulf of Mexico-adjoining states tend to have lower gas prices); how popular your part of the country is with tourists (which is why Florida tends to have higher gas prices); and of course, the old bugaboo, state gasoline taxes.

After closing above $67 a barrel on Wednesday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May delivery had dropped about half a point to around $66.46, although the global benchmark, Brent crude for June delivery, remains above $71 a barrel.

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Oil prices rose on Wednesday. "More motorists on the roadways, tight supply and record crude exports have the potential for higher prices as we head into the spring".

This summer, EIA expects wholesale gasoline margins (the difference between the wholesale price of gasoline and Brent crude oil price) to average 46 cents/gal, about 2 cents/gal lower than last summer. USA oil inventories also stand 20-percent lower than a year ago, the result of higher crude oil exports and OPEC's agreement to cut oil production, now in its 15th month. Summer highway travel is projected to increase by 1.3%, but its effect on motor gasoline use will be partially offset by a 1.2% increase in fleet-wide fuel efficiency. The state average Sunday was $2.46, 15 cents higher than one month ago and 32 cents higher than the same time previous year.

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