Gasoline consumption in 2014 was 45 percent lower than in 2013. Gasoline consumption for the month of August 2015 totaled 11,512,006 gallons, which was 5.6 percent higher than consumption in the same month in 2014. As shown in the graph and data table below, August 2015's consumption was 12.5 percent lower than consumption during the previous month.
The first half of 2015 had low gasoline prices due to low crude oil prices.
In 2014, corn prices averaged $3.30 per bushel.
In 2012, farmers endured a drought which pushed up corn prices to near or above $8 per bushel (record high).
In the fall of 2009, expectations for a record corn harvest came to fruition. Corn and ethanol prices felt the impact and were pushed lower. Even with the expectations and then the actual harvest record, annual consumption of motor gasoline for 2009 totaled 261,179,445 gallons, which was an 18–percent increase from 2008.
In 2008, increases in gasoline prices worked as an incentive for consumers to use an ethanol–blended fuel. Gasoline prices began to fall, but motorists did not immediately return to using 100–percent gasoline. The annual consumption for 2008 totaled 221,355,779 gallons, which was a 22–percent decrease from 2007.
Total gasoline consumption for 2007 was 285,501,195 gallons, which was a 24–percent decrease from 2006. Additional ethanol operating capacity had pushed ethanol prices lower, and gasoline prices had finally reached the level that people would no longer pay. Since 2001, total consumption had fallen over 50 percent.
Consumption increased from January to March of 2006 paralleling a reduction in ethanol–blended fuel consumption possibly due to the increase in the price of ethanol. Consumption numbers for April through November were contradicted by similar but opposite movements in ethanol–blended fuel consumption.
Gasoline consumption decreased significantly in 2005 from prior years. Increased availability and increased consumption of ethanol–blended fuel were likely factors in these reductions. Total consumption of gasoline and ethanol–blended fuel changed very little from 2000 to 2004 which indicates a shift in consumption of the individual fuels. The ethanol–blend market share is also a sign that there is an increase in ethanol–blend substitution for gasoline.
Other indications that ethanol–blended fuels are being substituted for gasoline are both ethanol–blended fuel consumption and reported miles traveled during the driving season. The driving season is traditionally the months between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends each year, so the months of June, July, and August usually have higher demand for transportation fuels.
Note: The motor gasoline data in this report includes the three grades of gasoline (regular unleaded, midgrade, and premium) but does not include the gallons of gasoline blended with ethanol.