European oil demand continued to decline in July, with the latest preliminary data from JODI pegging total consumption at 13.977 mb/d, down y/y by 533 thousand b/d (3.7%), the 11th consecutive y/y decline. In the year-to-date, European oil demand is running lower y/y by 493 thousand b/d, following a similar y/y decline of 408 thousand b/d across all of 2011. Fuel oil was the weakest part of the barrel, falling y/y by 218 thousand b/d, while gasoline demand was lower y/y by 108 thousand b/d. Diesel demand growth flipped from positive to negative territory, lower y/y by 40 thousand b/d following a 255 thousand b/d y/y increase in June.
Among the main five European countries, demand in the UK showed the greatest overall decline, falling by 294 thousand b/d (1.3%) y/y, with the bulk of that weakness concentrated in fuel oil (down by 27% y/y). Spanish and Italian oil demand continued to decline for the 17th straight month, lower y/y by 123 thousand b/d (8.7%) and 97 thousand b/d (6.4%) respectively. In Spain, gasoline and diesel demand both declined sharply, down by 8.9% and 8.7% respectively. In Italy, diesel consumption fell by 4.2%.
Germany's oil demand saw a sharp reversal, from an 8.4% y/y increase in June to a 2.5% y/y decline in July. Gasoline (-2.4%) and diesel (-4.9%) led the decline, with LPG, kerosene and fuel oil partially offsetting their impact. Overall, with the economic outlook in the region looking bleak, we expect European oil demand to continue declining in the months ahead.