Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) rose 0.4% from March 2013 to average 18.6 million barrels per day last month, marking the highest March level in three years. For the first quarter, petroleum demand dropped by 0.3% compared to the same period last year.
“March brought strong demand for both gasoline and distillate fuel, but refinery production actually outstripped demand for all four major products,” said American Petroleum Institute (API) chief economist John Felmy. “Fortunately, the rest of the world is also eager to buy the output of U.S. refineries.”
Production of gasoline and distillate hit new records for the month of March and the first quarter. Gasoline production gained 4.7% and distillate production gained 11.9% compared to March 2013 to reach 9.3 million barrels per day and 4.8 million barrels per day, respectively.