US demand and trade – Sep 2018

Published at 20:48 30 Nov 2018 by . Last edited 11:18 22 Aug 2019.

US oil demand rose y/y by 0.3 mb/d to 19.95 mb/d in September, a 0.45 mb/d downward revision from the weekly EIA estimates, compared to our expectations of a 0.1 mb/d downward revision. Combined demand for the four main products fell by 41 thousand b/d y/y in September, while demand for ‘other oils’ grew y/y by 0.35 mb/d to 4.8 mb/d.

US gasoline demand decreased by 0.26 mb/d y/y to 9.1 mb/d, as vehicle miles travelled (VMT) fell by 0.8% y/y in September. While the west reported an increase of 0.9% y/y in VMT, all other US regions reported reductions in September. Higher US gasoline prices provided a headwind, as prices increased by 19 cents y/y to $2.84 per gallon in September. PADD 3 led the declines, falling y/y by 0.26 mb/d while PADD 2 was down y/y by 75 thousand b/d.

US distillate demand increased by 86 thousand b/d y/y to 4.0 mb/d, despite the ISM manufacturing index falling by 2.4% to 59.8 in September, although still some nine points above the threshold separating expansion from contraction. The Freight Transportations Service Index (TSI) reported a 4.7% y/y increase in September (-0.3% m/m), although the index has fallen in two of the last three months, with September at the lowest level since April.

US crude exports rose in September by 0.37 mb/d m/m to 2.12 mb/d, just 85 thousand b/d below June’s record and higher y/y by 0.64 mb/d. Exports to Canada fell again by 10 thousand b/d m/m but flows into Europe rose sharply to 0.67 mb/d, as expected (from 0.45 mb/d in August). Exports to the Netherlands led the growth to Europe, increasing m/m by 0.12 mb/d to 0.19 mb/d, followed by 0.24 mb/d to the United Kingdom (+91 thousand b/d m/m) and 70 thousand b/d (+65 thousand b/d m/m) to Spain—hitting the highest volumes on record for each of the countries.

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