US premium gasoline sales hit 3-year high

In August 2020, sales of premium gasoline in the United States hit a three year high of 45.8 million gallons/day, the highest since the previous peak of 46.1 million gallons/day in August 2017.

Premium gasoline sales have grown since 2007 in a seasonal pattern that peaks in August, shown here in gold in units of million barrels/day:

Zooming in on the last few years shows premium grade sales have now fully recovered to the levels of previous years:

Regular gasoline (blue) sales still lag previous years by 1 million barrels per day, which accounts for the remaining gap in 2020 US gasoline demand versus previous years.

We continue to expect an octane supply/demand squeeze which will benefit those who have been paying close attention to producing lots of Tier 3 gasoline at low cost and with minimum octane loss.

Anticipating Tier 3 gasoline

As always, refining executives are dealing today with important and urgent issues (like safety, reliability, turnarounds, and survival!).  The industry is shedding thousands of people and internal planning capabilities are not what they were.

No longer can every refiner have its own proprietary expertise on everything.  For those who don’t, it’s increasingly valuable to use focused, third-party research which is readily available and underutilized by refiners who have been accustomed to going it alone.

Tier 3 is a known coming risk.  Our client group has used shared resources and external networks to dig deep, get critical data, and develop thorough understanding to enable early, well-informed decisions.

None of our Tier 3 research is proprietary. Our multi-client reports are available immediately to anyone at negligible cost (see references 6, 7, 8 in the digitalrefining.com article or contact me any time!).

George Hoekstra +1 630 330-8159 george.hoekstra@hoekstratrading.com

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