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Gasoline Demand Increased in December, API Reports

U.S. gasoline demand rose in December from a year earlier as the economic recovery strengthened, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Deliveries of the fuel, a measure of consumption, gained 4.5 percent to 8.77 million barrels a day, the industry-funded API said today in a monthly report. U.S. manufacturing expanded last month at the second-fastest pace in more than two years, the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index showed on Jan. 2. Domestic crude production increased to the highest December level in 26 years.

“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,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API, said in the report.

Total petroleum deliveries increased 5.8 percent from a year earlier to 19.2 million barrels a day, the API said. Demand for distillate fuels, including heating oil and diesel, rose 5.9 percent to 3.74 million.

Jet fuel use gained 9.9 percent to 1.52 million. Demand for all other oils, a category that includes liquefied petroleum gas, climbed 11 percent to 4.91 million.

Production jumped 15 percent to 8.11 million barrels a day. Output gained 15 percent to 7.53 million in the lower 48 states and increased 4.5 percent to 580,000 in Alaska.

For the fourth quarter, gasoline demand climbed 3.7 percent from 2012 to 8.84 million barrels a day and total petroleum consumption rose 4.6 percent to 19.3 million. Production averaged 7.96 million during the quarter, up 13 percent.

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