API reports mixed demand figures for July

By OGJ editors

Motor gasoline demand in the US reached a low for any July over the past decade, according to the latest monthly statistics from the American Petroleum Institute.

Distillate deliveries were almost 11% higher in July from a year earlier, though, led by a 15.1% increase in ultralow-sulfur distillate deliveries. API also reported that deliveries of jet fuel were at a 3-year high for the month, but total deliveries of oil products for the month, including exports, were down 0.6% from a year ago.

Overall demand was curtailed by continued economic weakness amid a decline in consumer spending, an increase in jobless claims, and an increase in the trade deficit.

API figures show that motor gasoline deliveries declined by 2.8% in July from a year earlier to average 9.044 million b/d.

Total products supplied, a measure of demand, fell by 0.5% from July 2010 to average 19.2 million b/d last month, driven by declines in deliveries of motor gasoline, high-sulfur distillate fuel oil, and residual fuel oil. Jet fuel deliveries climbed 2.6% from July 2010 to average 1.532 million b/d last month, while ultralow-sulfur distillate deliveries averaged 3.687 million b/d.

Total US imports of oil and petroleum products were down for July from last year by 14.7% to a 14-year low of 10.8 million bbl, API reported. Product imports fell by 35% from July 2010, while crude imports declined by 9%. Exports declined 1.1% to average 2.488 million b/d.

US oil production fell to a 3-year low for the month, averaging 5.2 million b/d and slipping to its lowest level in 2011. Production in the Lower-48 states was down slightly in July, while Alaskan production plunged 13.2% due to a planned maintenance shutdown of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System in the middle of the month. According to Baker Hughes Inc., the count of oil and gas rigs in use reached a 3-year high of 1,900.

US refinery utilization averaged 86.1% during July, down from 90.9% a year earlier.

Commercial stocks of crude ended July at 351.6 million bbl, down from 357.1 million bbl at the end of June and 357.6 million bbl at the end of July 2010. Motor gasoline inventories at the end of July were up almost 1% from a month earlier but down almost 4% from a year earlier, according to API figures.

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