API: US distillate demand surged as imports fell 10% in September

By OGJ editors

Distillate demand reached a record for the month of September, while gasoline demand lagged from a year earlier, according to the latest monthly data from the American Petroleum Institute.

At 19.9 million b/d, total petroleum deliveries rose 2.5% last month from September 2010. Total gasoline demand, at 9.144 million b/d, was up 0.3% from a year earlier, but year-to-date gasoline deliveries are down 1.3% from the corresponding 2010 period, API reported.

“The edging up of gasoline demand is consistent with the slightly improving consumer confidence numbers we’ve seen,” said API chief economist John Felmy. The stronger growth in distillate demand reflects somewhat better news in US manufacturing and industrial activity.

API reported that total US petroleum imports declined 9.9% in September from a year earlier. Crude imports fell by 2.3%, although imports of crude from Canada were up by almost 10% from a year earlier. US product imports fell by 37% from a year earlier to average 1.634 million b/d during the recent month, according to API.

US crude oil production was weak year-on-year, averaging 5.35 million b/d in September and down 5.4% from September 2010. But on a year-to-date basis, production was up by 1.2% from 2010. Crude oil production in the lower-48 states in September was down, while Alaska production increased to 622,000 b/d.

With the exception of last year, crude oil stocks were at their highest level for any September since 1983, API said. Motor gasoline stocks fell in September vs. September 2010, although they increased from August levels. Commercial stocks of crude oil in September fell by 1.7% from August and by 5.3% from a year earlier, according to the report.

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