U.S. gasoline consumption in April dropped to the lowest level for the month in 13 years, the American Petroleum Institute said.
Total deliveries of gasoline, a measure of demand, fell 3.9 percent from a year earlier to 8.47 million barrels a day, the industry-funded group said today in a report. Year-to-date consumption has averaged 8.38 million barrels a day, down 2.1 percent from the same period in 2012.
“The weak gasoline consumption numbers are related to the weak economy,” John Felmy, chief economist with the Washington-based API, said in a telephone interview. “Gasoline demand tends to be a reflection of employment and retail sales, both of which are anemic. There was also a rise in prices, which probably trimmed demand.”
Total petroleum demand in April climbed 0.3 percent from a year earlier to 18.4 million barrels a day, the API said.
Consumption of distillate fuel, a category that includes diesel and heating oil, rose 1.4 percent to 3.76 million barrels a day. Demand for ultra-low sulfur diesel, the type used on highways, increased 1.3 percent to 3.47 million. Heating oil use advanced 0.7 percent to 280,000 barrels a day.
Jet fuel consumption slipped 1.8 percent to 1.33 million barrels a day.
“Demand for jet fuel is down because the airlines have gotten a lot more efficient and are packing more people onto each plane,” Felmy said.
U.S. crude-oil production increased 16 percent to 7.26 million barrels a day. Output rose 17 percent to 6.71 million in the lower 48 states and 0.7 percent to 556,000 in Alaska.
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