September 28, 2020
In the first half of 2020, the United States exported 5.4 million barrels per day (b/d) of petroleum products, a slight increase of 48,000 b/d (1%) from the first half of 2019. Greater exports of propane and other hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) more than offset declines in U.S. exports of transportation fuels such as gasoline, distillate fuel oil, and jet fuel.
Distillate fuel oil usually accounts for the largest share of U.S. petroleum product exports, but in the first half of 2020, the United States exported slightly more propane (1.22 million b/d) than distillate fuel oil (1.21 million b/d). U.S. propane exports increased by 175,000 b/d (17%) from the same period in 2019, and U.S. distillate exports decreased by 72,000 b/d (6%).
Propane is used for space heating, transportation, or as a petrochemical feedstock. Most U.S. propane exports are used as petrochemical feedstocks, mainly by facilities in Asia. In March 2020, the Chinese government began issuing tariff waivers on U.S. liquefied petroleum gases, including propane. China was the fourth-largest destination for U.S. propane exports in the first half of 2020 behind Japan, Mexico, and South Korea.
Distillate fuel oil (most often consumed as diesel) has several uses in personal and commercial transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, and home heating. All four of the top destinations for U.S. distillate exports are in the Americas: Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Panama. During the first half of 2020, U.S. distillate exports to Mexico fell by an average of about 40,000 b/d (14%) and exports to Brazil fell by 33,000 b/d (17%) compared with the first half of 2019.
Motor gasoline exports in the first half of 2020 averaged 735,000 b/d, a 148,000 b/d (17%) decrease compared with the same period in 2019. The decrease was largest in May, when motor gasoline exports fell to 340,000 b/d, their lowest value since late 2010.
Although jet fuel accounts for a relatively small share of overall U.S. petroleum product exports, travel restrictions and other responses to the spread of coronavirus have significantly affected global jet fuel demand. In the first half of 2020, the United States exported 134,000 b/d of kerosene-type jet fuel, a 71,000 b/d (35%) decrease from the same period in 2019. U.S. jet fuel exports hit a low point in May, falling to just 23,000 b/d, their lowest value since mid-2007.
Principal contributor: Kevin Hack
Original source: EIA.gov