US gasoline inventories drop for fifth week, consumption falls

21 March 2012 15:20  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US gasoline inventories fell by 1.2m bbl, dropping for the fifth straight week, a government report indicated on Wednesday.

Gasoline inventories were at 226.9m bbl for the week of 16 March, compared with 228.1m bbl for the week of 9 March, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Additionally, finished motor gasoline consumption dropped by 36,000 bbl/day to reach 8.379m bbl/day. EIA data showed gasoline consumption previously gained 153,000 bbl/day for the week of 9 March.

Finished gasoline refers to the stage of gasoline in the supply chain where it has reached primary sources, such as blenders and terminals, before delivery to the retail stations.

Finished gasoline production fell by 160,000 bbl/day to a rate of 8.577m bb/day for the week of 9 March.

Furthermore, refinery utilisation slipped for the week of 9 March, mainly on a drop in the midwest region, which fell by 4.7 percentage points to reach 89.3%.

Contributing to the lower utilisation in the midwest is Valero’s turnaround on a crude unit at its 180,000 bbl/day Memphis refinery in Tennessee, which is underway. The turnaround is expected to go into April.

By: Anna Matherne

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