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Friday, 05/22/2020 6:36:54 AM

Friday, May 22, 2020 6:36:54 AM

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US gasoline demand falls by 8.2pc: EIA
20 May 2020

US implied fuel demand tumbled last week and fuel stockpiles rose as refiners navigate a rocky return to fuel consumption.

Implied gasoline demand fell by 8.2pc to 6.8mn b/d in the week ended 15 May, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Consumption sank to 28pc lower than year-ago levels and 25pc below the five-year average for the week, even as more states loosened travel and business restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Implied diesel demand fell by 3.9pc to 3.7mn b/d, 3.1pc lower than the same week last year.

Weekly EIA data offers only volatile estimates of consumption, and will be revised weeks from now to more exact monthly data. But the snapshot could temper optimism earlier this month of recovering fuel demand heading into the traditional US driving season.

US gasoline inventories increased by 1.1pc to 255.7mn bl, their highest level since the beginning of May and largest weekly rise in about a month. The US Gulf coast led the build with a 2.2pc increase to 90.3mn bl, the largest stockpile volume there since mid-February. Inventories were 8.5pc higher than the five-year average for the week, and 14pc higher for conventional gasoline blendstock stockpiles, which increased by 4.4pc to 38.5mn bl. Gasoline inventories increased by some volume in every region but the Rockies, where inventories fell by 2.8pc to 7.8mn bl.

Estimated US gasoline exports increased from the previous week by 40pc to 244,000 b/d, still 41pc lower than the same week last year. Gasoline imports increased by 8.2pc to 526,000 b/d, mostly to the Atlantic coast.

US diesel stockpiles increased by 2.5pc to 158.8mn bl, their highest volume since early March 2017. Ultra-low sulphur diesel in storage increased by 2.8pc to 145.9mn bl, the highest volume since February 2017. Estimated weekly diesel exports increased by 19pc from the previous week to 911,000 b/d, 35pc lower than the same week last year.

Atlantic coast diesel inventories reported the largest build of any region. ULSD increased by 4.3pc to 49.6mn bl, the highest volume since March 2017 and 31pc larger than the five-year average for the week. West coast ULSD stockpiles were effectively flat, at 12.7mn bl.

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