US gasoline prices, retailing at seven-year highs above $3.15 per gallon due to peak seasonal demand and outages from Hurricane Ida, are expected to fall to under $3 by the fourth quarter of this year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
“US regular gasoline retail prices averaged $3.16 per gallon in August, the highest monthly average price since October 2014”, the EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook Report for September. “We forecast that retail gasoline prices will average $3.14/gal in September before falling to $2.91/gallon, on average, in 4Q21.”
The EIA said the drop will be in line with expectations that the profit margin for processing gasoline will decline from currently elevated levels and refinery runs will normalize after the fallout from Hurricane Ida.
“Estimated gasoline margins surpassed 70 cents/gal in late August. We expect margins will remain elevated in the coming weeks as refining operations in the US Gulf Coast remain disrupted”, the EIA added.