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API sees weak gasoline demand

June 25, 2012 at 7:23 AM

WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- A stagnate U.S. economy and trouble in the eurozone is keeping demand for fuel products at lower levels, an economist from trade group API said.

The American Petroleum Institute stated that U.S. gasoline demand for the first five months of the year was down 0.6 percent compared with the same period last year.

API Chief Economist John Felmy said part of the slump in demand may be attributed to better fuel efficiency but most of it was because of a weak economy.

"Despite the positive movement, fuel demand is still not strong," he said in a statement. "Weak growth in the United States, stubborn unemployment and a world economy doing little better than treading water are contributing to this."

Imports of crude oil into the United States were down 1.3 percent for the year. For May, API said Canadian crude oil made up close to 23 percent of the total oil imported into the United States.

Total domestic refinery production in the United States outpaced demand as domestic gasoline production topped 9 million barrels per day for the second month in a row in May.

Domestic crude oil production was pushed by output from North Dakota, which was 6.1 million bpd in May.

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