U.S. crude exports edged higher to about 2.8 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in April from about 2.7 MMbbl/d in March, foreign trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed on June 6.

The biggest buyer of U.S. barrels was Canada, which took in a record 589,000 bbl/d.

The other top buyers were Asian countries, including India which purchased about 392,000 bbl/d and South Korea, which shipped in about 356,000 bbl/d in April.

U.S. crude exports have surged since Washington lifted a ban on them in 2015, rising to a record at about 3 million bpd in February this year.

A shale boom has propelled the United States to the world's biggest oil producer, overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The largest European destinations included the Netherlands, which bought about 305,000 bbl/d,  and the United Kingdom, which purchased about 152,000 bbl/d.

The United Arab Emirates imported a record 99,000 bbl/d of U.S. crude during the month.

Chinese buying in U.S. crude has plunged from the record levels in mid-2018, due to an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing. In April, China purchased just over 62,000 bbl/d of U.S. crude, well below the record 510,000 bbl/d in June 2018.

U.S. Census' foreign trade oil data is published weeks earlier than closely-watched EIA monthly figures. The EIA, which bases its numbers on the Census data, will release its crude figures at the end of the month.