As the title states, US oil imports dropped 7.6% the first half of the year.
Imports of crude oil and products to the US in the first half of 2009continued a string of three straight years of year-to-year declines, fallingby 7.6% to 12.048 million b/d, the American Petroleum Institute reportedThursday.
API, in its latest monthly statistical review, said the fall put total imports 12% below the same period three years ago.
It linked the continued declines to "slumping demand and increases in domestic supplies."
The slump continued into the middle of this year, with API noting that for "the second quarter alone, total imports dropped by more than 12% comparedwith a year ago, with crude oil imports reaching the lowest second-quarterlevel in over a decade at 8.95 million b/d."
Crude oil imports in June were down by 12.2% at 8.754 million b/d from 9.974 million b/d in June 2008. For the January-June period, crude importswere down by 6.2% at 9.191 million b/d versus 9.801 million b/d in the prior period, according to API's estimate.
Product imports in June were also mostly lower. For instance, imports of gasoline fell by 27.5% from a year earlier to 981,000 b/d from 1.353 million b/d.
"Gasoline imports (including blending components) were down by more than one-third from their historical peak in May 2007 of nearly 1.5 million b/d,"API said in its statistical summary.
"Gasoline imports in the first half of this year fell by 7.0% comparedwith the first half of last year. On a quarterly basis, gasoline imports inthe second quarter of this year saw a significant drop of 11.7% compared withthe first quarter of this year."
Jet fuel imports were also sharply lower, falling by 57.1% to 39,000 b/d from 91,000 b/d in June 2008. API said the decline from the year earlierfigure was "the lowest for any month since 1992."
Bucking the trend were distillate imports, which rose in June by 28.9% to232,000 b/d from 180,000 b/d, but API said that despite the rise, "they amounted to only about 23% of the volume of gasoline imports."
API noted rising US crude oil supplies in June, supported by its estimate that crude oil production rose 1.7% to 5.183 million b/d from 5.098 million b/d a year earlier. Of the latest total, Lower 48 States production was 3.3% higher at 4.588 million b/d, while Alaska production fell by 9.2% to 595,000b/d.
Added: US June oil demand was down 5.4% a year ago.