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U.S jet fuel demand is rising along with an increase in domestic air travel, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said this week.
Global and U.S. jet fuel demand is slowly recovering from the collapse in April last year. The number of commercial flights has more than doubled since April 2020 and even tripled on some days in major domestic markets such as the United States.
The recovery of aviation fuel demand is expected to be the slowest among all fuels, and a return to pre-pandemic levels is unlikely at least until 2023, analysts say. However, recent weeks have seen a notable increase in U.S. airline passenger numbers, pointing to an improvement in jet fuel demand in the near future, especially compared to last year’s lows.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been screening more than 1 million passengers at American airports every day since the middle of March 2021. Traveler throughput, although half of what it was in 2019, is ten times higher than it was in March and April 2020, when flights were grounded and stay-at-home orders were in place.
In March 2021, the number of passengers processed by the TSA averaged 1.2 million per day, the most in any month since the onset of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, the EIA said. In April 2020, air travel numbers collapsed in the United States, and TSA passenger numbers fell to 100,000 passengers per day. By April 2021, as of April 26, TSA passenger numbers had increased to an average of 1.4 million per day.
As a result, the implied jet fuel demand in America—which the EIA calculates by using product supplied as a proxy for consumption—exceeded 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in the latest four-week average to April 23. This was up by almost 200,000 bpd compared to the previous four-week average to March 26.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.