WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- API Chief Economist John Felmy said U.S. refineries produced more petroleum products than the nation's economy needed last month.
The production of gasoline and other products increased in March. Gasoline production in particular increased 4.7 percent year-on-year to 9.3 million barrels per day, a level the American Petroleum Institute said was a record for the month of March.
"March brought strong demand for both gasoline and distillate fuel, but refinery production actually outstripped demand for all four major products," Felmy said in a statement Thursday. "Fortunately, the rest of the world is also eager to buy the output of U.S. refineries."
Legislation enacted in the wake of the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s restricts crude oil exports from the United States, though other products are delivered. API has lobbied for a reversal of the ban.
The organization said U.S. petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, increased 0.4 percent year-on-year to average 18.6 million barrels per day last month, the highest level for March since 2011.
For the quarter, however, total petroleum demand declined 0.3 percent compared with the same time last year.