Analysis – April 2012

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Domestic sales of refined petroleum products in April 2012 totalled 8.5 million cubic metres, an increase of 476.9 thousand cubic metres (+ 5.9 %) from April 2011. The increase of 455.7 thousand cubic metres (+ 13.1 %) in Motor Gasoline accounted for most of the growth in refined petroleum product sales this month compared to the same month a year earlier. This increase brought the total Motor Gasoline sales to 3.9 million cubic metres.

The Ontario market driven by that province's high population accounted for about 34 % of total motor gasoline sales in Canada. Quebec accounted for additional 20 % of motor gasoline sales and Alberta a further 14 %.

Diesel fuel oil sales in April totalled 2.2 million cubic metres, a modest 18.5 thousand cubic metres (+ 0.9 %) growth above the same month in 2011. Diesel sales in Ontario accounted for 27 % of the national sales compared with 24 % for Alberta and 16 % for Quebec. Diesel is a major fuel in that region's agriculture and petroleum industry.

Refinery production in April totalled 9.1 million cubic metres, an increase of 436.0 thousand cubic metres (+ 5.0 %) from the same month in 2011. The increase was led by a 342.9 thousand cubic metres (+ 11.7 %) boost in the production of motor gasoline and 152.8 thousand cubic metres (+ 7.9 %) in diesel fuel oil.

Light fuel Oil posted a decrease of 119.5 thousand cubic metres (- 15.6 %). Seasonal fluctuations are expected for this product as it is primarily used as a heating fuel.

Crude oils received by refiners in April totalled 7.8 million cubic metres, only slightly less (- 0.1 %) then April 2011. Receipts of domestic crude oils totalled 4.7 million cubic metres, up 159.2 thousand cubic metres (+ 3.5 %). Crude oil imports decreased by 169.4 thousand cubic metres (- 5.2 %).

Crude oil and refined petroleum product inventories held by refiners and major distributors closed April at 11.2 million cubic metres down 2 % from April 2011. Of this volume product inventories accounted for 8.8 million cubic metres. Motor gasoline inventories increased by 44.1 thousand cubic metres (+ 1.5 %) and accounted for a 33 % share of the inventory total. Diesel fuel oil inventories increased by 117.1 thousand cubic metres (+ 5.0 %) and accounted for an additional 28 %.