U.S. Diesel Fuel Consumption Increased 8.4% in October, API Report Shows

U.S. diesel consumption increased in October from a year earlier, a signal that the U.S. economy is rebounding, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

Demand for ultra-low sulfur diesel, the type used on highways, rose 8.4 percent to average 3.19 million barrels a day last month, the industry-funded group said today in a report. Consumption during the first 10 months of 2010 climbed 2.9 percent to 2.97 million barrels a day.

“We’ve been watching the diesel demand numbers, which have been very strong,” John Felmy, chief economist with the Washington-based API, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a strong correlation between diesel consumption and economic growth. This is clearly a good sign for the economy.”

Use of distillate fuel, a category that includes diesel and heating oil, rose 4 percent to 3.8 million barrels a day in October. Demand climbed 3.4 percent to 3.74 million barrels a day during the first 10 months of the year.

Deliveries of gasoline increased 0.6 percent to 9.04 million barrels a day in October, the report showed. Consumption during the first 10 months of the year averaged 9.02 million barrels a day, up 0.1 percent from the same period in 2009.

Jet-fuel use surged 17 percent to an average 1.6 million barrels a day. Daily demand averaged 1.45 million barrels through October, up 3.2 percent.

Total deliveries of petroleum products averaged 19 million barrels a day in October, up 1.3 percent, the report showed.

U.S. crude-oil production rose 0.1 percent to an average 5.51 million barrels a day in October. Output in the lower 48 states increased 0.2 percent to 4.85 million barrels a day. Alaskan production slipped 0.6 percent to 654,000 barrels a day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Shenk in New York at mshenk1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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