U.S. Driving Season(ality)

2 Jun 2017:  This week’s Memorial Day unofficially kicked off the annual U.S. summer driving season which typically ends on Labor Day, another holiday weekend in early September.  Historically this means more driving and higher gasoline demand than during any other period of the year, because during the summer, families visit friends and relatives or go on vacation. Driving activity in this country is closely watched, because the United States still accounts for about 10% of global gasoline demand.  The impact of the summer driving season on the tanker market typically comes in the form of a pickup in transatlantic gasoline movements from Europe to the U.S. East Coast (PADD 1).  High refinery utilization in PADD 1, combined with high gasoline inventories muted the impact on the product tanker market in 2016.  Will it be different this year?

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