API: total US petroleum demand topped 20.8 mb/d in July, highest since 2005; on-road fuel demand down
Total US petroleum demand averaged 20.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) in July 2019, which represented a 0.9% year-over-year increase and the highest demand for the month since 2005, according to the latest Monthly Statistical Report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
This was a decrease of 0.9% from June but an increase of 0.9% compared with July 2018—and the highest demand for the month of July since 2005. Year-to-date through July, total petroleum demand averaged 20.4 mb/d, its strongest level since 2007.
The increase in demand came as the US continued to sustain world-leading production, which continues to meet virtually all global oil demand growth.
Consumer gasoline demand, measured by total motor gasoline deliveries, was 9.6 mb/d in July—a decrease of 1.4% from June and 0.4% compared with July 2018, even as gasoline prices were 3.6% below those of July 2018.
Year-to-date through July, gasoline demand fell by 0.4% y/y while regional consumption appeared to vary. Over the same period, demand for reformulated gasoline, which is consumed primarily in urban areas, decreased by 4.2% y/y to 3.0 mb/d. By contrast, conventional gasoline is used more in rural areas and increased 1.6% y/y to 6.3 mb/d.
In July, distillate deliveries of 3.9 mb/d fell by 6.2% from a record level in June but also were down by 1.7% compared with July 2018. Cumulatively through July, distillate deliveries were virtually unchanged from the same period one year ago, despite lower diesel fuel prices.
About 93.0% of distillate demand in July was for ultra-low sulfur distillate (ULSD). ULSD deliveries decreased by 1.4% y/y in July. The remaining 3.0% was high-sulfur distillate fuel (HSD), which is a heating fuel in the residential and commercial sectors and a marine fuel when blended to upgrade heavy fuel oil. In July, HSD deliveries of 99 thousand barrels per day (kb/d) decreased 14.7% compared with July 2018.
Other Highlights from the July 2019 Monthly Statistical Report include:
Sustained world-leading crude oil production at a record pace of 12.0 mb/d year-to-date.
Jet fuel demand for the month of July reached a new record of 1.8 mb/d.
Refining and petrochemical demand for liquid feedstocks, naphtha, and gasoil (“other oils”) was 5.3 mb/d in July, record demand for the month of July. This represented an increase of 2.8% from June and 5.0% above July 2018.
With the strength in consumer demand, domestic refineries processed crude oil at their highest utilization rates so far in 2019 (17.6 mb/d of throughput, utilizing 93.9% of capacity) and compensated for lower international demand for US petroleum exports.
Consequently, domestic West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices averaged $57.36 per barrel in July, which was an increase of 4.9% ($2.70 per barrel) from June. However, WTI prices remained down 19.2% ($13.62 per barrel) compared with July 2018 ($70.98 per barrel), and US petroleum inventories grew to within 4.1% of the top of the 5-year range.