U.S. April Gasoline Use Fell From Year Earlier, API Says

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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