US fuels demand surges to three-year high in July


NEW YORK -- US oil demand rose 1.7% year-on-year in July to 18.925 million bpd, the strongest demand in the month in three years, the American Petroleum Institute said Friday.

The July figure was a gain of 1.8% from a month earlier, when oil demand in the world's biggest oil-consumering nation fell to a 16-year low for the month of June.

Demand for gasoline, the nation's most widely used petroleum product, increased 2.2% from a year-earlier, to 9.016 million bpd. Despite the rise, gasoline use was the second lowest during July in 13 years, the trade group said.

Demand for distillate fuel, the umbrella group for diesel fuel and heating oil, rose 8% from a year earlier, to 3.835 million bpd, a six-year high for July. Within that figure, demand for ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, used to power trucks and trains, was 9.1% higher at 3.661 million bpd.

Jet fuel use rose 2.3% from a year earlier, to 1.502 million bpd, a four-year high for July. Demand heavy residual fuel, which has been losing market share to cleaner-burning natural gas, dropped 35.7% year-on-year to a record low for July of 269,000 bpd.

US crude oil output climbed 17.4% from a year earlier to a 25-year July high of 7.498 million bpd, as new technology such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling unlocks oil deposits trapped in shale rock in several areas of the nation. API said crude output was the highest of any month in 22 years.

Higher domestic output continued to reduce the need for imported oil, the trade group said.

Crude oil imports fell 10.5% from a year earlier, to 7.706 million bpd, a 17-year low for July.

Refined products imports dropped 6% from July 2012, to 2.013 million bpd. Exports of products rose 6.3% from a year earlier, to 3.413 million bpd, and were 11.1% above the June level, the API said.

Refinery inputs of crude oil and feedstocks averaged 16.365 million bpd, up 2.4% from a year earlier, and the highest in any month in eight years.

Distillate output set a record high of 5.052 million bpd, climbing 5.1% from June and 8.4% from a year earlier. Gasoline output rose 4.2% from a year earlier, to 9.293 million bpd.

Crude oil stocks at the end of July were 366.8 million bbl, down 3.2% from June and 0.8% below the year-earlier level that was the highest July level since 1990. Gasoline stocks rose 8% year-on-year in July, to 226.2 million bbl, a 24-year high for the month.

Distillate stocks of 126.3 million bbl were up 4.6% from June, and down 0.2% from a year earlier, at the lowest July level since 2004. Within that figure, stocks of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, at 105.6 million bbl, were up 11.2% from a year earlier, at a two-year July high.

Dow Jones Newswires

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