Tuesday, August 09, 2016

EIA: "Gasoline prices at 16-week low, expected to average less than $2 a gallon by December"

by Bill McBride on 8/09/2016 05:13:00 PM

The EIA released the Short-Term Energy Outlook today. From the STEO:

• EIA expects the retail price of regular gasoline to average $2.19/gal during the 2016 summer driving season (April through September), 6 cents/gal lower than projected in last month's STEO and 44 cents/gal lower than the price in summer 2015. EIA expects that the U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline reached a peak of $2.37/gal in June and will fall to an average of $2.05/gal in September and to an average of $1.92/gal in December.

• The monthly average spot price of Brent crude oil decreased by $3/b in July to $45/b, which was the first monthly decrease since January 2016. Significant outages of global oil supply contributed to rising oil prices during the second quarter of 2016. However, concerns about future economic growth related to the United Kingdom's June 23 vote to exit the European Union and the easing of supply disruptions in Canada contributed to falling oil prices in late June. Prices continued to fall in July because of concerns about high levels of U.S. and global petroleum product inventories, despite relatively strong demand, and because of growing U.S. oil rig counts. The Baker Hughes U.S. active oil rig count increased for six consecutive weeks in July and early August, the longest stretch of weekly increases in almost a year.

• EIA expects consistent global oil inventory draws to begin in mid-2017. The expectation of inventory draws contributes to accelerating price increases in the second quarter of 2017, with price increases continuing later in 2017. Brent prices are forecast to average $52/b in 2017, unchanged from last month's STEO. Forecast Brent prices average $58/b in the fourth quarter of 2017, reflecting the potential for more significant inventory draws beyond the forecast period.