• Jul 29, 2010
According to the American Petroleum Institute's (API) Monthly Statistical Report, U.S. gasoline deliveries for the first half of 2010 averaged 8.88 million barrels per day, 0.6 percent lower than the corresponding period a year ago. Though the drop in demand is minuscule, it does provide us with an indication that despite low gas prices and a rebounding economy, U.S. demand for gas continues to wane.
The numbers for the month of June paint a more vivid picture of our declining need for gas. June gasoline deliveries of 9.18 million barrel per day were the lowest level for any June on record since 2004 and were 0.5 percent lower than June 2009 deliveries. To gain a better understanding of the numbers, gasoline prices in 2004 barely cracked $2, whereas prices now sit at a nationwide average just north of $2.70.

API chief economist John Felmy offered additional insight into the declining demand for gas:
The listless economic recovery continues to take a bite out of gasoline demand. It's clear from the gasoline deliveries data that consumer confidence in the economy remains shaky. This certainly supports API's position that increased taxes or other anti-jobs policies by Congress or the administration could increase unemployment and harm our economic recovery.
While economists like to attribute decreased demand for gasoline to our shaky economical situation, we'd also point out that advancements in fuel-saving technologies lead to a dwindling need for gas. Follow the jump for more info from the API.

[Source: American Petroleum Institute | Image: FutureAtlas – C.C License 2.0]
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First-half U.S. gasoline demand 0.6% lower than last year: API

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2010 – Reflecting the ongoing sluggish economic recovery, U.S. gasoline deliveries for the first half of 2010 averaged 8.88 million barrels per day, 0.6 percent lower than the corresponding period a year ago, according to the American Petroleum Institute's Monthly Statistical Report for June.

June gasoline deliveries of 9.18 million barrel per day were the lowest level for any June since 2004 and were 0.5 percent lower than June 2009 deliveries, the report noted.

"The listless economic recovery continues to take a bite out of gasoline demand," observed API Chief Economist John Felmy. "It's clear from the gasoline deliveries data that consumer confidence in the economy remains shaky. This certainly supports API's position that increased taxes or other anti-jobs policies by Congress or the administration could increase unemployment and harm our economic recovery."

Even as gasoline demand remained depressed, distillate demand-which tends to track economic output closely-improved in both the first half of the year and for June. First-half low sulfur distillate deliveries jumped 2.1 percent from 2009 to average 3.29 million barrels per day in 2010; June low-sulfur distillate deliveries surged 12.3 percent from last year to average 3.51 million barrels per day for June 2010.

Total U.S. crude oil production averaged 5.47 million barrels per day in the first half of 2010, 3.5 percent higher than last year's 5.29 million barrels per day. For June, crude production in the Lower 48 states rose 3.9 percent to 4.8 million barrels per day, while Alaskan production dipped 2.6 percent to 556,000 barrels per day after some North Slope operators reduced production in the middle of the month. Historically, production wanes in the summer in Alaska due to maintenance work and lower operational efficiency in warmer weather.

U.S. refinery operations continued to improve in June relative to May this year, with production of all products, except residential fuel oil, improving in June. Inputs to crude distillate units averaged 15.3 million barrels per day, a 0.6 increase from May, and the fifth consecutive monthly increase. For the first half of 2010, refinery inputs of 14.84 million barrels per day were 1.3 percent higher this year than last.


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  • 29 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Curious that prices are not their lowest in 6 years.

      After all, four minutes after Katrina started hitting our prices doubled.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with compy.

        After all, in the years since Katrina, China has overtaken the US as the largest auto market(though that was this year, but it still occurred). There are still millions and millions of Chinese(and Indians) that have the desire for a car and they all burn gasoline. Their quickly getting the economic power to buy thos evehicles as well so their demand has increased greatly while the demand here has decreased.

        We live in a global economy, not a sheltered, US-only one where things happen in a vacuum.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Demand lagging behind supply = low prices. Supply has been steady, so why so curious?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Gas and oil prices seem to be more influenced by the strength of the dollar, and emotions in the commodities market than any real supply and demand.
        • 4 Years Ago
        While US demand is down to a 6 year low I certainly doubt that global demand for oil is at anything but a peak.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Those who are unemployed most probably didn't take a driving vacation (other than my worthless brother-in-law who did it with money my wife gave her sister). Those of us who are fortunate enough to be employed are working in environments where companies have cut employee base to the bare bones and have told us no vacations this summer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It never ceases to amaze me how arrogant these guys are. True freedom will be someday when we can have a growing economy and a drop in energy input. Productivity and wage growth go hand in hand and efficiency (i.e. more output with less energy) is the chief driver of productivity.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You know...I'm willing to bet that the average mpg of all American vehicles is up more than 0.6%, as compared to 2004...which makes the API's chief economist pretty much full of s#*t.

      Remember, you can make numbers say whatever you want, as long as you ignore enough facts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So you're trying to say that there aren't more people with cars this year, than last year? You'd have to come up with a better excuse than a negligible increase in gas mileage to offset population growth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have noticed that people like you who come up with their own personal unproven theories to explain something, have to immediately call people names and say disgusting things of anyone who disagrees with them. Talk about closed minded.

        While it is true that our vehicles are probably more fuel efficient now than they were in 2004, there are a lot of other enormous factors involved, such as huge unemployment numbers, lower incomes of those who do work, and higher taxes, that also play a very large role in determining how much gasoline is actually being used.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "So you're trying to say that there aren't more people with cars this year, than last year? You'd have to come up with a better excuse than a negligible increase in gas mileage to offset population growth."

        :snicker:

        Firtst, I said 2004, not last year. If you hadn't been so eager to go political on my post, you might have noticed that. In fact, it's quite possible that since 2004 average fuel mileage might have improved as much as 2, 3, 4 or even 5%, not 0.6%, which all by itself, when applied to all the vehicles on the road, today, could easily account for the change.

        Secondly, it's quite possible there might be more vehicles in use now. But your chief economist dipweed didn't consider that. He flatly stated the reduced gas usage was caused by the worsening economy, without considering improved gas mileage or vehicle demographics at all, which makes him just another mouthpiece with a cause to espouse.

        API chief economist John Felmy offered additional insight into the declining demand for gas:

        "The listless economic recovery continues to take a bite out of gasoline demand. It's clear from the gasoline deliveries data that consumer confidence in the economy remains shaky. This certainly supports API's position that increased taxes or other anti-jobs policies by Congress or the administration could increase unemployment and harm our economic recovery."

        If you read that comment carefully, the guy is just trying to use raw numbers to stake a political position on Congressional actions. He's just a tub thumper, and whether the numbers are meaningful to us, they sure as hell aren't to him, except as a way of advancing a political agenda.

        But good luck wit dat, and thanks for all the fish.



      • 4 Years Ago
      Recession.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So, why is the price of gas high around where I am (Chicago) ? Fewer people driving, less gas sold, etc..... At least that is how I thought it was supposed to work, lol !
      • 4 Years Ago
      Think about all the clunkers which were traded in for more efficient cars. That has to contribute some to the decrease. I know someone who traded a Chevy Suburban for a Nissan Altima. Think how much gas she is using, assuming no significant change in driving.

      Another point to consider is that air travel is up. Those who drove for vacations last year may very well be flying this year. That also reduces gasoline consumption.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Would be interesting to see how gas deliveries are tracking in different areas of the country. Are they only lower in areas with higher unemployment? Are they also lower in areas where people have recently upgraded to newer fuel-efficient cars thanks to the cash-for-clunkers program?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here's my anecdotal theory. June was hot as hell, and I personally didn't go out and do much because it's just too damned hot. I also don't have working AC in my car at the moment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        With your logic, global warming isn't real because there was a big effin snowstorm in February...

        Thanks for your amazing insight...good grief!



      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd be curious to know if total miles driven are also down .6%. Off the top of my head, I tend to agree with the view that increasingly efficient autos are part of the reason for this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No job= no daily commute=less gas usage

      And as noted. More stacations than vacations
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