US gasoline consumption makes strong gains, inventories fall

09 May 2012 16:30  [Source: ICIS news]

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

Finished motor gasoline consumption rose for the second consecutive week, rising by 172,000 bbl/day to reach 8.864m bbl/day for the week ended 4 May, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This is on top of a 197,000 bbl/day gain for the week ended 27 April.  

However, compared to the same time period one year prior, consumption is 5.5% lower. 

The EIA statistics showed refiner production of finished motor gasoline bounced back, gaining 233,000 bbl/day to reach 8.787m bbl/day. Higher production levels in both the US Gulf and east coast regions contributed to the increased US refiner production.

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.

Additionally, US gasoline inventories continued to drop, and are nearing the lower levels from the same time period in 2011.

Inventories fell by 2.6m bbl to 207.1m bbl/day for the week ended 4 May. For the same time period in 2011, stockpiles were at 205.8m bbl.

Furthermore, refinery utilisation rose for the fourth consecutive week, increasing by 0.4 percentage point to a rate of 86.4% as the east coast and US Gulf coast regions posted the largest regional gains.

By: Anna Matherne

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