U.S. gasoline demand rises 1.7% in latest week, GasBuddy says

High gasoline prices at a Mobil station in West Hollywood
A gas pump is inserted inside an Audi vehicle at a Mobil gas station in Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, California, U.S., March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Bing Guan

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - U.S. gasoline demand rose 1.7% in the latest week to 8.45 million barrels per day, with it rising every day over the week-ago period, according to data on Sunday from GasBuddy.com.

Demand for the week of Feb 5 was also 3.7% above the four-week moving average, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.com, which tracks fuel prices nationwide.

"For the first time since June, U.S. gasoline demand was not only up every day over the week ago period but also over the four week average," De Haan said in a tweet.

The gasoline consumption was the highest weekly tally since demand was 8.74 million barrels in the week of Dec 18, according to GasBuddy.

The rise in demand comes as U.S. gasoline stocks (USOILG=ECI) rose by 5 million barrels to 239.6 million barrels in the week ended Feb 3, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 million-barrel rise. Refinery utilization rates (USOIRU=ECI) rose by 2.2 percentage points to 87.9% in the week.

Wholesale gasoline prices have been rising recently as well, with gasoline futures rising from $2.32 a gallon on Feb 3 to $2.50 per gallon on Friday.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose more than 2% on Friday and posted weekly gains of over 8%, as Russia announced plans to reduce oil production next month after the West imposed price caps on the country's crude and fuel. Brent crude posted a weekly gain of 8.1%, while U.S. crude gained 8.6%.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; editing by Diane Craft

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