Looking forward, EIA forecasts gasoline prices to rise moderately through the first half of 2013. This increase is partly related to the switch to summer-grade gasoline during the spring that typically encourages widening crack spreads at that time of year. Increasing wholesale gasoline prices are expected to be partially offset by declining Brent prices. EIA forecasts U.S. average regular gasoline retail prices will peak in May at $3.59 per gallon. Regional variation is expected to continue, with West Coast prices expected to average $3.79 per gallon in May and peak a month later than the national average at $3.82 per gallon in June. On the low end, Gulf Coast prices are expected to return to their typical position as the lowest in the country, peaking at $3.45 per gallon in May.
After late-2012 declines, gasoline prices stabilize in early 2013