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Summer transportation fuels outlook

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

  • The EIA expects regular grade gasoline retail prices to average US$2.45/gal. during this summer’s driving season.
  • Diesel fuel retail prices are projected to average US$2.77/gal/. this summer.
  • Unforeseen refinery outages or other disruptions to supply have the potential to increase regional product prices beyond forecast levels in the short term.
  • Movements in gasoline and diesel prices are driven primarily by changes in both crude oil prices and wholesale margins.
  • Absent other factors specific to the gasoline and diesel fuel markets, each dollar per bbl of sustained change in crude oil prices compared with the forecast translates into approximately a 2.4 cent/gal. change in product prices.
  • EIA expects wholesale gasoline margins will average 36 cents/gal. this summer.
  • Forecast wholesale diesel fuel margins are 45 cents/gal.
  • The market’s expectation of uncertainty in monthly average gasoline prices is reflected in the pricing and implied volatility of futures and options contracts.

Motor gasoline

  • During the 2015 summer driving season, projected motor gasoline consumption averages 9.2 million bpd.
  • Finished motor gasoline is supplied by four sources: domestic refinery output, fuel ethanol blending, net imports of gasoline and gasoline blending components, and primary inventories.
  • EIA expects that domestic refinery production, including gasoline blendstock output, will increase by almost 100 000 bpd from last summer.
  • Fuel ethanol blending into gasoline is projected to decrease by 10 000 bpd.
  • Projected total gasoline net imports average 210 000 bpd.
  • At the onset of the summer driving season, total gasoline stocks were 227 million bbls.
  • This summer, the total gasoline stock draw is projected to average 55 000 bpd.
  • Total gasoline inventories are projected to end the summer season at 217 million bbls.

Diesel fuel

  • Projected consumption of distillate fuel, which includes diesel fuel and heating oil, averages 4 million bpd this summer.
  • The increase in marine distillate use because of MARPOL regulations will displace the use of some residual fuel oil.
  • Distillate fuel is supplied by four sources: domestic refinery output, biodiesel blending, primary inventories, and net imports.
  • EIA expects refinery output of distillate fuel will average 5 million bpd this summer.
  • The production of biodiesel is forecast to average 85 000 bpd this summer.
  • Projected distillate fuel net exports average 0.99 million bpd this summer.
  • Distillate inventories are projected to start the summer at 126 million bbls.
  • Distillate inventories typically build during the summer season in preparation for the heating season.
  • This summer, the build is forecast to average 55 000 bpd, down from the 87 000 bpd build recorded last summer.
  • End of summer stocks are 137 million bbls.

Edited from report by Claira Lloyd

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