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U.S. gasoline prices will hit a monthly peak of more than $3.60 per gallon in June, helping to reduce motor fuel demand by 0.4 percent durng the busy driving season compared to last summer, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
In its summer forecast, EIA predicted gasoline demand will be 36,000 barrels per day lower, at 9.404 million bpd, the first summer decline since 1991, according to a Reuters report.
Consumers will pay an average $3.54 a gallon during the summer driving season, which runs from April through September, up 61 cents from last year, according to the Energy Department's analytical and forecasting arm.
However, EIA cautioned that gasoline prices in some parts of the country "will cross the $4 per gallon threshold."
It said, "These retail price projections reflect higher prices for the refiner's average acquisition cost of crude oil, projected to average almost $97 per barrel, up from about $67 per barrel last summer."
For May and June alone, EIA said the average price for U.S. oil was expected to be about $103 per barrel.
The price of crude accounts for about 70 percent of the cost of making gasoline.