In the latest Petroleum Supply Monthly, US oil demand for April was revised higher by 0.118 mb/d to 18.553 mb/d, and is now higher y/y by 0.223 mb/d (1.2%). This is slightly above our expectations (0.8%), and was underpinned by large upward revisions to both gasoline and distillate figures. For the second month running, gasoline demand was revised sharply higher, by 0.267 mb/d to 8.766 mb/d. This means that what was a steep y/y decline of 3.6% is now broadly flat y/y, down by just 51 thousand b/d (0.6%). Distillate demand in April was revised higher by 0.208 mb/d, taking the total to 3.871 mb/d, reversing the y/y decline in the preliminary data and now up y/y by 0.167 mb/d (4.5%). All the main four products were revised higher in March, by a substantial total of 0.5 mb/d to 14.335 mb/d, up y/y by 47 thousand b/d (0.3%). ‘Other oils' was the only category to be revised lower, by a large 0.384 mb/d to 4.218 mb/d, but still higher y/y by 0.176 mb/d (4.3%). Given the trend in March and April, we expect May and June's demand to be revised higher too, especially against the backdrop of fairly robust macroeconomic data.
US crude oil imports were also revised higher, by 25 thousand b/d to 7.726 mb/d, rising by a sharp 0.266 mb/d m/m, as refineries returned from maintenance and ramped up runs to 14.865 mb/d, higher m/m by 0.162 mb/d. Nonetheless, crude imports were still down by 0.865 mb/d y/y, with the Gulf Coast continuing to see the most crude being backed out, down y/y by 0.871 mb/d. Interestingly, however, imports into the East Coast picked up, both m/m and y/y, to 0.837 mb/d, the highest since November last year, with imports of light crudes back above 0.3 mb/d, up y/y by 37 thousand b/d. Light crude grades into P3 continued to fall to 0.236 mb/d, but the pace of decline has definitely eased. Imports from Nigeria were 0.32 mb/d. Overall imports of light crudes picked up above 1 mb/d, and should quality issues with tight oils being too light, as we have highlighted, prove to be a growing problem, light crude imports could continue to find support.
Finished oil product imports were revised higher again to 2.349 mb/d, while oil product exports were revised down for the third straight month by 0.439 mb/d to 2.408 mb/d. This was led by gasoline (lower by 0.189 mb/d), while propane exports stayed elevated at 0.279 mb/d, up y/y by 0.138 mb/d. Crude exports were back at a record high at 0.132 mb/d, all to Canada.
US inventories were revised higher by 11.8 mb, 11.4 mb of which was in product stocks. Within products, gasoline inventories revised upwards by 5.8 mb, while distillates were revised higher by 1.0 mb. The ‘other oil' was the other contributor of note, revised higher by 3.9 mb.