US gasoline consumption rebounds, inventories drop

02 May 2012 16:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US finished motor gasoline consumption last week rose ahead of the typically busier summer driving season, according to government statistics released on Wednesday.

Finished motor gasoline consumption gained back most of the previous week’s losses, rising by 197,000 bbl/day to reach 8.692m bbl/day for the week ended 27 April, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Statistics for the week ended 20 April showed a drop of 279,000 bbl/day.

However, consumption remained 5.8% below levels from the same time period one year ago.       

Additionally, US gasoline inventories continued to drop, but were still above levels in 2011.

Inventories fell by 2m bbl to 209.7m bbl/day for the week ended 27 April. Analysts predicted a drop of 1.8m bbl in gasoline inventories.

For the same time period in 2011, stockpiles were at 204.5m bbl.

Refiner production of finished motor gasoline slightly decreased of 22,000 bbl/day. The EIA data showed production rates were at 8.554m bbl/day for the week ended 27 April compared with the prior week, which was at 8.576m bbl/day. An increase in midwest production was not enough to counter a drop in both east coast and Gulf coast production.

Furthermore, refinery utilisation increased by 1.3% to a rate of 86.0% as the midwest and west coast regions posted the largest regional gains.

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.

By: Anna Matherne

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