US gasoline deliveries increase in March – API

20 April 2012 17:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US gasoline deliveries increased for the second consecutive month, an oil and gas association’s statistics showed on Friday.

The total number of gasoline deliveries, which is a measure of consumer gasoline demand, increased by 3% to 9m bbl/day for the month of March, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). The report showed that for the first quarter of 2012, gasoline demand increased 0.4% compared to the first quarter of 2011. 

However, the report also showed total domestic petroleum deliveries, which measures US petroleum demand, fell by 1.3% in March compared to the same time period in 2011.

“[T]he rise in gasoline demand occurred in spite of higher gasoline prices, which actually pushed down demand for reformulated gasoline used in urban areas and encouraged more use of public transit,” said API chief economist John Felmy in a statement accompanying the API data.

The API demand data contradicted that of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released on Wednesday, which showed US motor gasoline consumption remains at low levels compared to 2011. The EIA reported that consumption for the week ended 13 April was nearly 6% below the level for the same time period in 2011.

Concerns over weakened gasoline demand as the typically busier summer driving season approaches has heavily influenced gasoline futures trading on the NYMEX, causing them to fall by more than 11 cents/gal since Monday.   

By: Anna Matherne

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