June 28, 2012 / 6:34 PM / 6 years ago

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~~~~~~~~
 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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