UPDATE 2-US April oil demand down 1.77 pct from year ago-EIA
* Dip in demand smaller than last month's drop
* Gasoline demand up for first time since Feb 2011
* Demand contraction tapering off-JP Morgan (Adds quotes, API data, background)
WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. oil consumption in April was weaker than expected, the U.S. government said on Thursday, but after months of declines there are signs oil demand may finally be leveling off.
The Energy Information Administration said in its Petroleum Supply Monthly report that oil demand for the world's top consumer dropped to 18.283 million barrels per day, which was 470,000 bpd lower than previously estimated.
With this downward revision, demand was off by 330,000 bpd, or 1.77 percent, from the 18.613 million bpd posted for the month last year. The EIA had initially forecast a 0.75 pct increase year over year.
Still the dip in demand in April, the 13th consecutive monthly decline, was much less than the revised 5.58 percent decrease in March.
"While we do not expect U.S. oil demand to rebound through the remainder of 2012 into robust annual growth, the continued trend of deepening contraction should fade," JP Morgan said in a research note on Wednesday.
U.S. gasoline consumption was revised upward 1.5 percent to 8.817 million bpd, a 0.63 percent increase from April 2011 and the first rise in U.S. gasoline use since February 2011.
The EIA's oil demand figure for April was lower than the 18.549 million bpd reported by the American Petroleum Institute for the month.
EIA said demand for distillate fuels fell 4.64 percent from a year ago to 3.656 million bpd in April, while jet fuel use dipped a slight 0.29 percent at 1.359 million bpd.
EIA Monthly Demand Data
(In millions of barrels per day)
Prev ~~~~~~~~~~Change vs~~~~~~~~
Est Product April For Prev Yr Ago Yr ago pct
April Est Gasoline 8.817 8.687 1.50% 8.762 0.63% Distillate 3.656 3.834 -4.64% 3.689 -0.89% Jet Fuel 1.359 1.363 -0.29% 1.451 -6.34% Residual 0.408 0.451 -9.53% 0.6 -32.00% Total 18.283 18.753 -2.51% 18.613 -1.77%
-This chart compares the latest monthly EIA petroleum supply report with the previous weekly report and final year ago numbers. The EIA's monthly report always differs from the weekly report as the monthly reflects data supplied from all U.S. energy companies, while the weekly report surveys the biggest companies representing about 90 percent of the market. The total demand number reflects many petroleum products beyond gasoline, distillate, jet fuel and residual fuel listed in the table.
NOTE-U.S. year-on-year oil demand changes:
April 2012 -1.77 pct March 2012 -5.58 pct Feb 2012 -0.72 pct Jan 2012 -4.46 pct Dec 2011 -4.99 pct Nov 2011 -1.28 pct Oct 2011 -2.2 pct Sept 2011 -3.31 pct Aug 2011 -2.59 pct July 2011 -4.0 pct June 2011 -1.3 pct (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Leslie Gevirtz)
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