Analysis – April 2011

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Domestic sales of refined petroleum products in April 2011 totalled 8.0 million cubic metres, up slightly (+0.1%) from April 2010.

An increase in Diesel and Light Fuel Oil accounted for most of the growth in refined petroleum product sales this month compared to the same month a year earlier.

Sales of motor gasoline totalled 3.5 million cubic metres, down 131.6 thousand cubic metres (-3.6%) from April 2010. The Ontario market driven by that province's high population accounted for about 37% of total motor gasoline sales in Canada.

On the other hand diesel fuel oil sales in April totalled 2.2 million cubic metres, 62.1 thousand cubic metres (+3.0%) above the same month in 2010.

Diesel sales in Ontario accounted for 25% of the national sales compared with 22% for Alberta and 17% for Quebec. Diesel is a major fuel in that region's agriculture and petroleum industry.

Refinery production in April totalled 8.7 million cubic metres, down 341.8 thousand cubic metres (-3.8%) from the same month a year earlier. The decrease was due to a decline in 13 of the 17 Refined Petroleum Products including the production of motor gasoline (-7.8%), diesel fuel oil (-8.0%) and on smaller volumes heavy fuel oil (-14.5%).

Crude oils received by refiners in April totalled 7.8 million cubic metres, only slightly less (-0.3%) then April 2010. Receipts of domestic crude oils totalled 4.5 million cubic metres, up 422.9 thousand cubic metres (+10.3%). Crude oil imports slipped by 444.2 thousand cubic metres (-12.0%).

Crude oil and refined petroleum product inventories held by refiners and major distributors closed April at 12.2 million cubic metres up 5.1% from April 2010. Of this volume product inventories accounted for 9 million cubic metres. Motor gasoline inventories increased by 296.2 thousand cubic metres (+11.5%).