WASHINGTON — Growth of demand for petroleum products should slow sharply in the United States in 1987 as crude oil prices climb toward $17 a barrel by the end of the year, the Energy Department predicted Friday.
The department's quarterly forecast said demand would increase by only 1.4% during 1987 compared to 2.7% in 1986.
The price collapse this year has not stimulated demand to the extent many would have expected, said the Energy Information Administration.
Prices averaged $19 a barrel in the first quarter of this year and $12 in the third quarter. Prices are now about $15 a barrel.
Imports next year should reach 5.4 million barrels per day, the agency said. That would represent an 8% increase from an estimated 5 million barrels this year and a slowdown in growth from the 14% increase this year over 1985's 4.4 million barrels.