Commodity Corner

Views on commodities and energy

U.S. Gasoline Demand

Photo

us-gasoline-demand-vs-price1

U.S. gasoline demand has showed signs of picking up over the past month, edging up 1.6 percent over the past for weeks according to government data. Analysts say lower pump prices have led some Americans to drive more. U.S. demand fell last year for the first time since 1991 as gasoline and crude prices raced to record highs, with further pressure coming later in the year due to the economic crisis.

TheĀ above graph shows five years of gasoline consumption in the world’s top consumer, compared with the average price for a gallon of U.S. gasoline.

NYMEX First to Second Month Crude Spread

Photo

1st-to-2nd-spread

The spread between the front month and second month oil futures continues to narrow.

The deep spread seen in earlier this year, caused primarily by slumping fuel demand due to the economic crisis, was heightened by the monthly of passive investment funds, especially the giant United States Oil Fund. On Feb. 6, when the fund last rolled its positions from the first to second month futures conracts, it held movre than 20 percent of the front month.