April 1, 2022

WWW.ENERGYINTEL.COM

US Oil Demand in January Adjusted Down by 9%

  • The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has significantly revised weekly data with a batch of new monthly numbers.

  • As a result, demand in January dropped by nearly 2 million barrels per day, placing forecasts for subsequent months under doubt.

  • The market has been bullish on US demand recovery, which now has apparently not taken place.

US oil demand at the start of the year came in much lower than initially forecast by the influential weekly data from the EIA. This removes a key bullish factor from the market that has buoyed traders while they bid up prices.

US oil consumption in January came in at 19.73 million barrels per day, the latest monthly data show — not 21.67 million b/d, as the EIA's weekly data had forecast.

In other words, weekly data has signaled that US demand was on steroids thanks to a buzzing economy and milder pandemic impact. The monthly report just blew a hole through that.

Now, instead of well over 2 million b/d, demand growth has turned out to be 600,000 b/d on the year, the EIA’s latest Petroleum Supply Monthly shows.

Flimsy Forecasts?

The question now is whether the EIA’s weekly forecast for February of 21.65 million b/d is also too high.

Weekly data suggests that March demand in the US slipped down to about 20.7 million b/d.

The distinction is vital. US data, the timeliest and often best available, is a key guide for market sentiment. To wit, Brent raced from $79 at the start of January to $91 at the end of the month, in part due to bullish forecasting for 2022.

The monthly report also revised US gasoline demand down 400,000 b/d, diesel by over 300,000 b/d and propane demand by 600,000 b/d.

Import/Export

The EIA’s assessment for exports of crude and refined products was far too low in the weekly data — nearly 900,000 b/d low for crude oil and 1.2 million b/d for products.

That has had a knock-on effect on other data such as demand as the statistics need to account for the flow of crude and products. Shipping data and price spreads had suggested that export numbers would have been higher.

In January, the US was again a net exporter of oil and products, to the tune of 605,000 b/d. Gross imports were some 8.2 million b/d, their lowest since October, while exports dipped from December’s record to just under 8.8 million b/d.

Broken down by type, the US was a net importer of crude, or 3 million b/d, but a net exporter of 3.6 million b/d products, EIA data show.

The US sold nearly 1 million b/d more to Mexico than it imported.

Russian imports in January were again lower than December. As the situation in Ukraine deteriorated by the end of last year, US refiners started buying less crude and products from Russia (table). In 2011, they bought an average 200,000 b/d in crude and 500,000 b/d in mostly unfinished products. In January, crude was down to just 4,000 b/d and products came in at 278,000 b/d.
US Crude Oil Imports, January 2022
CanadaMexicoSaudi ArabiaIraqColombiaGuyanaBrazilGrand Total
('000 b/d)Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21
Phillips 664585801024823---16-----802748
BP586446------------629446
Chevron15151208197749962647964166446594519
Marathon2962408032--22------16438289
Exxon Mobil358470------------358470
Motiva7687--251115-------16338242
PBF Energy10398-906618--33--32--276299
Flint Hills276263------------276263
Western Refining Southwest LLC55119--32-60-------248206
Valero-48160203--7227---12-16245352
Cenovus Energy244141------------244141
Shell62-84-----------180-
Houston Refining79325251----3264----164148
PDV Midwest Refining160162------------160162
Holly Refining and Marketing14894------------14894
Top 152,9162,79760050546820725489146143646064945,1004,379
Total Companies3,9313,836622631485207254891941779860981106,3835,783
Total Imports3,9313,836622631485207254891941779860981106,3835,783
US Petroleum Product Imports, January 2022
CanadaRussiaMexicoSouth KoreaNetherlandsSaudi ArabiaQatarGrand Total
('000 b/d)Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21
Valero5240160182--18---15-15-285295
Irving Oil213240------------213240
Exxon Mobil7846118315--410----175246
Shell29-13-1---11-----100-
PBF Energy--9223538--11-15-15-9271
Trafigura0-938-5--922-28-576220
Phillips 66531313-766240----5040
Atlantic Trading---7----016-6-3949
Vitol11-22----------3758
BP910-5----------3428
Motiva3-2817-3----111-3230
George E. Warren Corp--------------3114
Marathon---19------30-30-3019
Chevron---3930---------3054
Western Refining Southwest LLC---12--2620------2632
Top 1531930327849497585026593368306851,2501,395
Total Companies614632278547136116105966975683163181,7622,132
Total Imports62663227854713611610596697568310-1,7762,132
US Petroleum Product Imports, January 2022
CanadaRussiaMexicoSouth KoreaNetherlandsSaudi ArabiaQatarGrand Total
('000 b/d)Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21Jan '22Jan '21
Other Oils1792284183943-711-601--444565
Motor Gasoline145179936--1663039----425518
Middle Distillates165151-22--1212429628415275403
LPG/Chemicals198233------------208235
Residual Fuel Oil37741719774---8----195205
Kerosene-Type Jet Fuel712----7371--1-14-128124
Asphalt3628------------3728
Lubricants9100---41240118143651
Fuel Ethanol0-------8
Petroleum Coke01------------63
Total Companies614632278547105116105966975683163181,7622,132
Total Imports62663227854713611610596697568310-1,7762,132
US Crude Exports, January 2022
MonthlyMonthlyAvg.Avg.
('000 b/d)Jan'22Jan'2120192018
All Destinations3,3473,1652,9822,048
India672560255151
Netherlands378258279132
Korea344325419242
Canada336385479440
United Kingdom24322000
China206705137231
Singapore17707843
Italy170120128108
Taiwan15947169131
Switzerland147024
Spain114234722
France96718823
Germany9069273
Thailand7110110938
Uruguay520155
Dominican Republic35161410
Australia240410
Norway24242435
Peru2423287
Denmark22233517
Ireland22394313
Brazil18284825
Colombia18181824
Nicaragua912116
Belgium1040
Lithuania04820
Other-10550244167
US Petroleum Product Exports, January 2022
Total ProductsTotal ProductsLPG & Pents+LPG & Pents+MogasMogasJet KeroJet KeroDistillatesDistillatesResidsResidsPet CokePet CokeOtherOther
('000 b/d)Jan'22Jan'21Jan'22Jan'21Jan'22Jan'21Jan'22Jan'21Jan'22Jan'21Jan'22Jan'21Jan'22Jan'21Jan'22Jan'21
All Destinations5,4165,5642,2842,381877861132939659138074468484612758
Mexico1,1011,02126019344444644342302195968625057
Canada436471262278323110312015271013107100
Japan46075839258206000000564611124
China2123231481650000000064140118
Brazil358431362934510074188007134145129
Indonesia4118841182000006000000
India267210240142000001004192249
Korea145215104143160000050001972
Chile253127353623121061666210100082
Peru146150816183811689850000204
Netherlands1397365350000179002003728
Dominican Republic100873653347981512006502
Panama1128172172954613420110020
Guatemala11612313214844124647007911
Ecuador100108233439390037160006112
Colombia74953144480016700001239
Honduras764121121914202915000050
Costa Rica6157562030432516005022
Spain3528251200000000101601
Egypt38343324000000006900
France299140000000008782
Morocco5675315500000110025900
Singapore1596511036000019000003129
El Salvador653415102413122410000000
United Kingdom47364334000000000230
Bahama Islands5744218141434101780020
Other73467931326364503419851456910910712386

John van Schaik, New York