US gasoline inventories drop for ninth week, consumption rebounds

18 April 2012 17:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US motor gasoline inventories fell for the ninth consecutive week, but they still remain well above levels in 2011, as indicated by government statistics released on Wednesday.

US gasoline inventories fell by 3.6m bbl to 214.0m bbl for the week ended 13 April, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). However, inventories remain high compared with the same time last year, when stockpiles were at 208.1m bbl/day.

Finished motor gasoline consumption for the week ended 13 April bounced back versus the prior week, increasing by 94,000 bbl/day to reach 8.775m bbl/day.

Although consumption rose, it still remains at low levels as it moved nearly 6% below the level for the same time period one year prior. Concerns over weakened demand as the typically busier summer driving season approaches has caused gasoline futures trading on the NYMEX to fall by more than 11 cents/gal since Monday.   

Finished gasoline production moved 263,000bbl/day higher, ending the week of 13 April at 8.882m bbl/day, according to the EIA. The rise in production was not enough to cap the losses in gasoline stockpiles for that week.

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

Furthermore, EIA data showed US refinery utilisation increased to 84.6%, as the midwest region had an increase of 3.7 percentage points after Valero completed the turnaround of a crude unit at its 180,000 bbl/day Memphis refinery in Tennessee.

By: Anna Matherne

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