US gasoline exports hits new high as consumption remains weak

25 January 2012 18:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US exports of finished gasoline in January reached 625,000 bbl/day, the highest level since the government began tracking in 2010, according to an estimate by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The previous record was set in August 2011, when gasoline exports reached 536,000 bbl/day.

US exports have been increasing after a strong jump from October 2010 to November 2010, when they increased from 283,000 bbl/day to 413,000 bbl/day, according to the EIA’s historical data.

American Petroleum Institute (API) economist John Felmy said the large increase in exports of refined products, both gasoline and distillates, has improved employment and the economic situation.

Domestic consumption of finished gasoline has dropped to historically low levels, and exports have encouraged refiners to maintain high production and maintain profits by selling product aboard, he said. Exports have kept refineries in business when they otherwise would not be, Felmy said.

For the week ended 13 January, the EIA indicated the lowest US consumption rate for finished gasoline since 11 September 2011. The EIA reported consumption at 7.996m bbl/day.

By: Sheena Martin
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