API: US petroleum demand in March at highest level since 2008

Total petroleum deliveries in March increased 0.2% from March 2016 to average nearly 19.7 million b/d—the highest March deliveries in 9 years, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute.

Total petroleum deliveries in March increased 0.2% from March 2016 to average nearly 19.7 million b/d—the highest March deliveries in 9 years, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute.

For this year’s first quarter, total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of US petroleum demand, were up 0.4% compared with first-quarter 2016 to average 19.5 million b/d. These were the highest first quarter deliveries since 2008.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report, issued Apr. 7, the US added 98,000 jobs in March. In addition, the unemployment rate at 4.5% and the number of unemployed persons at 7.2 million were both down from a month ago as well as last year.

Gasoline deliveries, meanwhile, were up in March from the previous month, but down from the prior year as well as last year’s first quarter. Total motor gasoline deliveries increased 4.3% from February, but were down 1.7% from March 2016 to average 9.2 million b/d. These were the second-highest March deliveries ever recorded.

“The strong steady demand for fuel expanded economic activity in the manufacturing sector last month and the overall economy grew for the 94th consecutive month. Good news for workers and the economy,” said Chief Economist Erica Bowman.

US crude oil production increased in March for the third straight month, up 1.4%, but posted declines compared with levels in the previous year as well as last year’s first quarter. At an average of 9.2 million b/d, US crude oil production decreased 0.2% from March 2016 and was down 1.8% from first-quarter 2016.

Natural gas liquids production was up from the previous month and last year’s first quarter, but was down from the prior year. NGL production in March averaged 3.4 million b/d, which was the second-highest level for the month on record. This was 0.4% above February’s output and 0.8% higher than first-quarter 2016.

US total petroleum imports in March averaged nearly 10 million b/d—the second highest March total petroleum imports level, since 2012. Total petroleum imports were down 3.8% from the prior month, and down 0.1% compared with the prior year. For the first quarter of 2017, total petroleum imports were up 4.4% compared with the first quarter of 2016.

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