EIA expects that regular-grade gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.69 per gallon last summer, will average $3.53 per gallon during the current summer (April through September) driving season. The projected monthly average regular retail gasoline price falls from $3.61 per gallon in May to $3.43 per gallon in September. Diesel fuel prices, which averaged $3.95 per gallon last summer, are projected to average $3.83 per gallon this summer. Daily and weekly national average prices can differ significantly from monthly and seasonal averages, and there are also significant differences across regions, with monthly average prices in some areas exceeding the national average price by 30 cents per gallon or more.
As is the case with crude oil, the market's expectation of uncertainty in monthly average gasoline prices is reflected in the pricing and implied volatility of futures and options contracts. New York Harbor RBOB futures contracts for September 2013 delivery traded over the five-day period ending June 6 averaged $2.76 per gallon. The probability that the RBOB futures price will exceed $3.10 per gallon (consistent with a U.S. average regular gasoline retail price above $3.75 per gallon) in September 2013 is about 12 percent.