EIA: US petroleum product exports rose in first half

The US exported 4.7 million b/d of petroleum products in this year’s first half, an increase of 500,000 b/d over first-half 2015 and almost 10 times the crude oil export volume, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.

Propane exports increased by more than 230,000 b/d in this year’s first half compared with the same period in 2015, surpassing motor gasoline to become the second-largest US petroleum product export, after distillate, EIA said. US exports of distillate and gasoline increased by 50,000 b/d and nearly 140,000 b/d, respectively, in the first half of this year.

Mexico, Canada, and the Netherlands remain the major export destinations of US petroleum product exports in this year’s first half, importing a respective 775,000 b/d, 579,000 b/d, and 271,000 b/d.

“US petroleum products tend to stay in the Western Hemisphere. In 2015, approximately 60% of total petroleum product exports remained within the Western Hemisphere, down slightly from 65% in 2005,” EIA said.

Distillate exports averaged 1.2 million b/d in this year’s first half, an increase of 50,000 b/d from the same period in 2015. Central and South America accounted for the largest share of US distillate exports, averaging more than 620,000 b/d in this year’s first half, an increase of more than 30,000 b/d from the same period in 2015. The largest single destination overall for US distillate exports was Mexico, which averaged 147,000 b/d in this year’s first half.

US propane exports increased from 562,000 b/d in first-half 2015 to 793,000 b/d in the same period of 2016, with exports to Asia and Oceania accounting for 94% of this growth. Japan imported the most US propane at 159,000 b/d in this year’s first half, an increase of 111,000 b/d from the same period of 2015, while US exports of propane to Panama, however, fell from 41,000 b/d in the first half of 2015 to 7,000 b/d in this year’s first half.

“The large increases in propane exports to Japan and decreases in propane exports to Panama could be a result of reduced ship-to-ship transfer activity. Some of the propane exports from the United States that undergo ship-to-ship transfers will cite the location of the transfer and not the final destination of the propane. This often results in larger-than-actual export numbers for the countries where the ship-to-ship transfers take place and in less-than-actual numbers for some final destinations,” EIA said.

Gasoline exports increased 138,000 b/d in this year’s first half compared with first-half 2015. North America (Canada and Mexico) accounted for most of the growth, with an increase of 92,000 b/d. Mexico represented the largest single recipient of US gasoline exports at 363,000 b/d in this year’s first half, up from 283,000 b/d in first-half 2015.

In January, as part of the liberalization process, Mexico began to allow companies besides Petroleos Mexicanos to import fuels, resulting in increased exports from nearby refineries along the US Gulf Coast.

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