At the same time exports have been buoyed by global demand, lower distillate consumption in the United States has reduced the need to import. Through April, U.S. distillate consumption in 2012 was 112,000 bbl/d (3 percent) lower than the same period in 2011, in part reflecting reduced consumption of heating oil due to the mild winter weather. Combined with higher distillate production, this led to significantly reduced levels of imports, which through April were down 42 percent year-over-year. In April 2012, the United States imported 98,000 bbl/d of distillate fuel, which was the lowest monthly total since August 1985. Most U.S. distillate imports are shipped from Canada (82 percent in 2012 to date) to the East Coast (PADD 1), and are the result of opportunistic trade with refineries in Canada's maritime provinces which are closely integrated into the U.S. East Coast market. While the East Coast does also export some distillate fuel, the vast majority of U.S. distillate exports originate from the Gulf Coast, where refinery production far outpaces demand and distance to Latin America is short. The Gulf Coast also ships large quantities of diesel via pipeline to other U.S. markets.
April sets monthly record for net distillate exports
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