API: Petroleum demand up in December, fourth-quarter 2013

Total US petroleum deliveries in December 2013—which averaged 19.2 million b/d—and in the fourth quarter increased 5.8% and 4.6%, respectively, compared with the corresponding periods of 2012, the American Petroleum Institute said in its latest monthly statistics report.

“Both demand and production in December showed strong gains over the prior year, reflecting continued progress in domestic manufacturing as well as the broader economy,” said API Chief Economist John Felmy.

In December 2013, gasoline demand registered a year-on-year increase of 4.5%, which averaged 8.8 million b/d. Demands for distillate, jet fuel, other oils and residual fuel also increased.

Domestic crude production rose by 14.5% in December and 13.4% in the fourth quarter from 2012 levels to just over 8.1 million b/d, marking the highest level for the month in 26 years.

Total imports in December 2013 averaged 9 million b/d, down 6% from a year ago. Crude oil and refined product imports fell 4.1% and 13.2%, respectively, from December 2012. Exports of refined products for the month were up 2.9% from a year ago to 3.7 million b/d.

“Gasoline production was 4.2% from last year to the highest output for the month at 9.4 million b/d, just 66,000 b/d below the all-time high set in July 2010. At an all-time high of nearly 5.2 million b/d, distillate production rose 5.7% from December 2012,” API said, regarding products production.

Crude oil stocks ended last month at 356.6 million bbl, down 2.4% from 2012 level, while remaining the second-highest inventory level for the month since 1981.

Stocks of motor gasoline ended down 4.2% from last year to 221.1 million bbl in December.

“The refinery utilization rate averaged 92.3% in December, up 3% points from November and 1.9% points higher than the same period last year,” API said. API’s latest refinery operable capacity was 17.816 million b/d, up 2.4% from last year’s capacity of 17.391 million b/d.

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