U.S. Gasoline Consumption: Where to From Here?06/13/2016
In a farmdoc daily article last week (June 2, 2016), we showed that increasing gasoline consumption in the face of falling crude oil and gasoline prices has had, and will continue to have, a major impact on the implementation of RFS biofuels mandates. Specifically, our projection of the size of the total conventional gap (ethanol mandate minus the E10 blend wall) over 2014-2022 has fallen by about two-thirds in just one year due to rising projections of gasoline consumption for the U.S. Given the pivotal role that gasoline projections play in these calculations, more detailed analysis of the likely path of gasoline consumption in the future is warranted. We begin with a review of basic fundamentals of U.S. gasoline consumption since 1990 and use this foundation to analyze prospects for growth in consumption over 2016-2018.