Crude oil demand in the United States is down to its lowest level since the onset of the global economic recession. A lackluster economic recovery, coupled with cautious consumer sentiment, is keeping demand for petroleum products suppressed. Nevertheless, lingering concerns over geopolitical tensions with Iran has prompted some governments to raise the possibility of releasing strategic petroleum reserves. Fundamentally, it seems, markets are well supplied, though it may be emotional factors driving certain aspects of the energy market.
The American Petroleum Institute, in its report for July, finds that crude oil demand is down to its lowest levels in roughly four years. U.S. petroleum deliveries for July declined to around 18 million barrels per day, the lowest level for the month since 1995 and the lowest overall since the onset of the global economic recession in 2008. Oil production in the United States, however, reached 6.2 million bpd, the highest for any July figure since 1998 and total refinery inputs grew 2.3 percent in July to reach their highest level for the year.
John Felmy, the API’s chief economist, said lower consumer demand was in large part a reflection of the lackluster U.S. economic recovery and lingering pessimism in the eurozone.
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