Total US petroleum demand fell 2.7%in July to just above 18
million bpd, the American Petroleum Institute (API) trade group
said on Tuesday, representing the lowest July level since 1995
and the lowest level for any month since September 2008.
Total petroleum demand for the year to date was down 2.3%,
according to new data from the API.
Gasoline demand fell more, down 2.2% from June and down 3.8%
from July a year ago to hit the lowest July level since
Demand for other major products also declined except
distillates, which increased 4.9%, driven by strong ultra-low
sulfur diesel deliveries.
While retail sales for July are up and housing has
improved, the weak petroleum demand numbers are a strong
indication the economy is still faltering, said API chief
economist John Felmy.
Unfortunately, achieving robust growth will likely
continue to be an uphill climb given the nations fiscal
challenges, business uncertainty, and a European economy in jeopardy of
sliding back into recession.
Despite weakening demand, refinery production remained
At 9 million bpd, gasoline production reached its third
highest July level. Distillate production at nearly 4.8 million
bpd was at a record high for any July and the third highest
monthly level ever. Year-to-date distillate production also set
Total refinery inputs grew by 2.3% in July
to their highest level this year.
Production of all four major products - gasoline,
distillate, jet fuel and residual fuels - was greater than
demand for those products, the API said. As a result, petroleum
imports decreased and exports increased.
Total imports of crude and refined products fell by 9.6% to
average 10.4 million bpd in July. Exports of refined products
increased to a record high for July, and year-to-date exports
were up 14% compared with the same period in 2011.
Refinery utilization rose to 92.7%
in July, the second month in a row above 90%, the API said.
Crude oil production remained strong and was up from the
prior month, prior year and prior year to date. At 6.225
million bpd, it was the highest level of domestic production
for any July since 1998.