Key US petroleum demand indicator falls 2.6% for first half 2012

20 July 2012 20:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A key measure of US petroleum demand is down for the first half of the year from the same period in 2011 as a result of a weakened economy, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Friday.

Total petroleum deliveries fell by 2.6% to an average of 18.4m bbl/day during the first half of 2012, according to the API’s Monthly Statistical Report.

“A weakening economy requires less fuel, and this by most measures is a weakening economy,” said API chief economist John Felmy. “The fall in demand in June is particularly notable and consistent with other disappointing metrics in the economy, including falling retail sales and contraction in the manufacturing sector.”

Gasoline demand for the first six months of this year dropped by 1.0% to an average of 8.648m bbl/day from the same period in 2011, according to the API.

Distillates, jet fuel and residual fuel were also down for the first six months.

However, total refinery inputs for the first half of 2012 averaged 15.1m bbl/day, up by 3.1% from the first six months of 2011.

For the month of June, refinery inputs were up 2.8% to nearly 15.8m bbl/day year on year, the highest level so far this year, the API said.

Also in June, for the first time since July 2011, refinery utilisation rose above 90.0% year on year.

Because of weak domestic demand, exports of refined products in June increased by 17.8% to 3.07m bbl/day.

By: Brian Ford
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