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US Crude Oil Refinery Demand and Imports Impact Oil Prices


Dec. 27 2017, Updated 9:45 a.m. ET

Weekly US crude oil refinery demand 

According to the EIA, US crude oil refinery demand rose by 111,000 bpd (barrels per day) to 17.1 MMbpd (million barrels per day) on December 8–15, 2017. Refinery demand rose 0.7% week-over-week and by 405,000 bpd or 2.4% YoY (year-over-year).

Higher refinery demand is bullish for oil (BNO) (USO) prices. Higher oil prices benefit funds like the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) and the First Trust Energy AlphaDEX Fund (FXN).

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US crude oil refinery demand peak and low 

US crude oil refinery demand hit to 17.7 MMbpd for the week ending August 25, 2017—the highest level ever. US crude oil refinery demand hit to 10.6 MMbpd for the week ending January 1, 1984—the lowest level since 1982.

Oil prices and refiners

US crude oil (UWT) prices are at a 30-month high. Higher oil (DWT) prices have a negative impact on US refiners like PBF Energy (PBF) and Valero Energy (VLO). In contrast, higher oil prices benefit oil producers (IEZ) (XOP) like Contango Oil & Gas (MCF), Stone Energy (SGY), and BP (BP).

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Weekly US crude oil imports 

US crude oil imports rose by 471,000 bpd to 7,834,000 bpd on December 8–15, 2017. Imports rose 6.4% week-over-week but fell by 637,000 bpd or 7.5% YoY. Any increase in US crude oil production and imports could impact inventories, which impacts oil (DWT) prices.


The US is the largest crude oil consumer in the world. Any increase in US crude oil refinery demand is bullish for oil (UWT) (SCO) prices.

Next, we’ll discuss how US gasoline demand impacts oil prices.


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