EIA says US weekly gasoline demand finds new all-time high

Houston (Platts)--13 Jun 2018 1220 pm EDT/1620 GMT

US gasoline demand -- measured as product supplied -- hit a new all-time weekly high in the week ended June 8, Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday.

Product supplied of gasoline was reported at 9.879 million b/d in the first full week of June, the highest that figure has ever been in data going as far back as 1991. The previous all-time high occurred earlier this year, when product supplied was reported at 9.857 million b/d for the week ended April 13.

Amid robust demand, US gasoline stocks for the week were reported 2.27 million barrels down on the week at 236.763 million barrels, which is about 2.3% below their level in the year-ago week. Those stocks fell despite uptick in US gasoline imports, which the EIA says rose from 777,000 b/d in the week ended June 1 to 824,000 b/d in the week ended June 8.

Aside from strong demand, higher US gasoline imports likely did not lead to an increase in fuel stocks because gasoline exports rose 69,000 b/d to reach 607,000 b/d. The EIA data show this is the highest volume of exports seen in the first full week of June going as far back as 2010.

Interestingly, US demand reached an all-time high despite prices being above historic norms.

On Tuesday, S&P Global Platts assessed CBOB in Houston, which is perhaps the most liquid gasoline cash market in the US, at July NYMEX RBOB futures minus 14.60 cents/gal, or $1.9439/gal. This is more than 40% above the assessment value from the year-ago date.

This data lines up with a blog post from AAA, an auto-club, posted on Wednesday which said that motorists are now spending more on fuel at the pump relative to last summer.

"Motorists can expect to spend at least $250 more on gas this season, but that won't stop them from traveling. Summer is synonymous with road trips and vacation and we are not going to see Americans are giving up this pastime this year," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokeswoman.

The same blog post said that some US states are now seeing prices at the pump above the psychologically-important $3/gal level. For example, in Idaho, 99% of gas stations are selling gasoline at prices at or above $3.01/gal compared to the summer of 2017, when no gas stations sold fuel at or above this level, according to AAA.

(Correcting typographic error in headline)

--Seth Clare,

--Edited by Derek Sands,

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