Analysis – August

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Domestic sales of refined petroleum products in August 2009 totalled 8.5 million cubic metres, down 328.9 thousand cubic metres or about 3.7% from the same month a year earlier.

The decrease in domestic sales of refined petroleum products in August 2009 was largely due to a decline demand for diesel fuels (-11.8%), heavy fuel oils (-21.3%) and petrochemical feedstock (-16.8 %).

Motor gasoline sales posted a 3.0% increase from the same month a year earlier. Regular unleaded which represented about 89% of total gasoline sales increased by 2.3% from August 2008. Premium grades which accounted for only 9% of total sales increased by about 16%. Mid-grade gasoline declined by 14% on small volumes.

Canadian refineries produced 10.0 million cubic metres of refined petroleum products in August 2009, down 432.6 thousand cubic metres (-4.5%) from the same month a year earlier.

The increase was led by an 11.8% increase in motor gasoline sales. Petrochemical feedstock and heavy fuel oil posted declines.

Refineries took 8.5 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent in August 2009, 806.1 thousand cubic metres (+10.5%) more than the same month a year earlier. Domestic crude oils receipts were down 165.8 thousand cubic metres (-3.7%). However, imports representing about 42% of total refinery receipts were up 971.9 thousand cubic metres (+30.1%).

OPEC accounted for 36% share of total crude oil and equivalent imports compared to a 25% share in August 2008. North Sea producers (Norway and the United Kingdom) supplied about 23% of import requirements down from 31% a year earlier.

Crude oil and refined petroleum product inventories held by refineries and major distributors closed August 2009 at 14.3 million cubic metres, up 406.4 thousand cubic metres (+2.9%) from the close of the same month a year earlier.

Of this volume, crude oil and equivalent inventories totaled 3.0 million cubic metres, up 46 thousand cubic metres (+1.6%) from August 2008. Refined petroleum product inventories were up 360.4 thousand cubic metres (+3.3%) from the same period a year earlier.

Motor gasoline and diesel fuel oil together accounted for about 39% of total product inventories in August 2009. The "other products" category composed of mainly unfinished products accounted for an additional 34%.