EIA says distillate supplies lowest since 2004; increased truck traffic cited

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says supplies of distillate (including both diesel and home heating oil) are the lowest end-of-June level since 2004, largely attributed to the booming freight market, i.e. truck traffic.

EIA in its latest energy report released Friday estimates that U.S. consumption of distillate fuel averaged 4.12 million barrels per day (b/d) during the first half of 2018, 190,000 or 5 percent higher than the same period of 2017.

The agency added that the increase is mostly because of “an increase in trucking activity” and that the increase is because of current “economic growth and industrial activity.”

Colder January temperatures in the Middle Atlantic and Northeast regions of the country — 25 and 27 percent respectively over January of last year — have led to increased heating oil consumption, the report added.

EIA estimates that refinery production of distillate fuel in the U.S. averaged 5.0 barrels a day in the first six months of 2018, 1 percent or 30,000 barrels a day higher than the same period of 2017.

That, in turn, has led to diesel prices rising by more than crude oil prices over the past year.

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