U.S. Fuel Demand Climbs to Three-Year High for October, API Says

U.S. fuel demand in October rose to the highest level for the month in three years, led by gains in diesel consumption, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Total deliveries of petroleum products, a measure of demand, increased 2.5 percent to 19.4 million barrels a day last month from a year earlier, the industry-funded group said today in a report. Year-to-date consumption has averaged 19.2 million barrels a day, up 0.1 percent from the same period in 2010.

“Our economy is growing modestly and the overall demand numbers support that,” John Felmy, chief economist with the Washington-based API, said in the report.

Consumption of distillate fuels, a category that includes diesel and heating oil, rose 12 percent to 4.24 million barrels a day in October, the highest level for the month since 2006.

Demand for ultra-low sulfur diesel, the type used on highways, climbed 15 percent to average 3.82 million barrels a day, the report showed. Heating-oil use dropped 6.7 percent to 419,000 barrels a day.

Gasoline demand declined 0.3 percent to 8.99 million barrels a day last month compared with the same month last year. It was the second-lowest level of October consumption for the motor fuel since 2002, according to the report.

Jet-fuel use climbed 4.8 percent to an average 1.5 million barrels a day last month compared with the same period in 2010.

Demand for residual fuels plunged 45 percent to 269,000 barrels a day last month from a year earlier, the report showed. Residual fuel is used for commercial and industrial heating, electricity generation and ship propulsion.

U.S. crude-oil production rose 1.7 percent to an average 5.67 million barrels a day in October, a 10-year high for the month, the department said. Output in the lower 48 states increased 2.3 percent to 5.07 million barrels a day. Alaskan production decreased 3.1 percent to 599,000 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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