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US petroleum demand up in March

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Total US petroleum deliveries rose 0.4% from March 2013 to average 18.6 million bpd last month, marking the highest March level in three years. For the first quarter, petroleum demand dropped by 0.3% compared to the same period last year.

John Felmy, API Chief Economist said, "March brought strong demand for both gasoline and distillate fuel, but refinery production actually outstripped demand for all four major products. Fortunately, the rest of the world is also eager to buy the output of US refineries."

Product production and demand

Production of gasoline and distillate hit new records for the month of March and the first quarter. Gasoline production gained 4.7% and distillate production gained 11.9% compared to March 2013 to reach 9.3 million bpd and 4.8 million bpd, respectively.

Demand for gasoline gained 2.3% from March last year to average 8.8 million bpd, while distillate deliveries increased by 2.4% from last year to approximately 3.9 million bpd. Demand fell in March for jet fuel, residual fuel and other oils. At 306 000 bpd, demand for residual fuel fell to the lowest level on record for the month.


Refinery gross inputs were up by 3.7% from the prior year to 15. 5 million bpd in March. Production of all four major products, gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuels, was higher than deliveries for those products. Exports of refined petroleum products rose 28.3% from March 2013 to average slightly below 4 million bpd.

The refinery capacity utilisation rate averaged 87.1% in March, the same as in February but 3.1% higher than last year. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.716 million bpd.


Total imports in March increased by 0.4% from the previous March to 9.5 million bpd, while crude oil imports rose 2.7% over the same period to average 7.7 million bpd. Both measures were at their second lowest level in 18 years. Imports of refined products were 1.8 million bpd, down by 8.3% from March 2013.

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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