US gasoline consumption falls, inventories continue to drop

25 April 2012 16:27  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US motor gasoline consumption remains at low levels for this time of the year, according to government statistics released on Wednesday.

Finished motor gasoline consumption erased the previous week’s gains, falling by 279,000 bbl/day to reach 8.496m bbl/day for the week ended 20 April, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Statistics for the week ended 13 April showed a gain of 94,000 bbl/day.

Consumption remains 6% below levels from the same time period one year ago.

Additionally, US gasoline inventories fell for the tenth consecutive week, but they still remain well above levels in 2011.

Inventories fell by 2.3m bbl to 211.7m bbl for the week ended 20 April. However, inventories remain high compared with the same time last year, when stockpiles were at 205.6m bbl/day.

The drop off in inventories can be partly attributed to a decrease in gasoline production. The EIA data showed finished motor gasoline production rates were at 8.576m bbl/day for the week ended 20 April, compared to the prior week, which was at 8.882m bbl/day.

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.

Refinery utilisation held relatively steady at 84.7% as all regions posted either slight gains or losses in production rates. Rates for the week ended 13 April were at 84.6%.

By: Anna Matherne

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