|S2008 provided us with some insights on how U.S. refiners
might respond to the longer term need for more distillate and less
gasoline. Recall that, although U.S.
gasoline and distillate demand were declining, the increase in world demand
for distillate and the associated increase in distillate margins, resulted in
short-term opportunities for U.S. refiners to export distillate fuel.
|SThe U.S. is usually a net importer of distillate. For example, in 2006, distillate net
imports were 150 KB/D (thousand barrels per day). But in 2008, we became a net exporter. Net export volumes were 315 KB/D – a change
of 465 KB/D in just two years (with most of that change coming between 2007
and 2008), and the highest distillate net exports ever.
|SThe chart on the right shows the U.S. export volumes by
destination. About 70% of distillate exports come from Gulf Coast refineries
|S In the past, the main destination for Gulf Coast exports
was Latin America. In 2008, both Latin America and Europe grew substantially
as U.S. distillate export destinations.