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EIA: Canada remains key trade partner for US

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Canada is the largest energy trading partner with the US based on the combined value of energy exports and imports. Although the value of bilateral energy trade with Canada has varied over the last decade, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes in its latest ‘Today In Energy’ report that the overall energy trade balance has changed relatively little, with US energy imports from Canada consistently exceeding US energy exports to Canada by a large margin.

Based on the latest annual Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) data from the US Census Bureau, energy accounted for US$25 billion, or about 8%, of the value of all US exports to Canada in 2018, the highest value since 2014. Canada is the second-largest importer of energy from the US, in terms of trade value, behind only Mexico. Energy accounted for US$84 billion, or 26%, of the value of all US imports from Canada in 2018.

Crude oil imports from Canada accounted for 48% of total US crude oil imports in 2018, averaging 3.7 million bpd , up from 3.5 million bpd in 2017. In 2018, the value of US imports of Canadian crude oil also increased, reaching US$61 billion, because of an increase in both oil prices and volume through the first three quarters of the year.

Canada’s share of US crude oil exports has been falling since restrictions on exporting US crude oil were lifted in 2015, but Canada remains the largest destination for US crude oil exports. US crude oil exports to Canada are typically light, sweet grades that are shipped to the eastern part of the country. Most Canadian crude oil exports to the us are heavy oil from oil sands in the western part of the country.

Bilateral petroleum products trade between the US and Canada is relatively balanced in both volume and value. In 2018, Canada was the destination for 581 000 bpd of petroleum products, which was 10% of all petroleum products exported from the US. These exports were valued at more than US$13 billion in 2018.

Bilateral natural gas trade between Canada and the US is dominated by pipeline shipments, which made up 97% of all US natural gas imports in 2018. Total natural gas imports from Canada fell to 7.8 billion ft3/d in 2018. Total natural gas imports from Canada were valued at US$6 billion in 2018. Most of Canada’s natural gas exports to the US originate in western Canada and are shipped to US markets in the West and Midwest regions.

US natural gas exports to Canada in 2018 averaged 2.3 billion ft3/d, valued at more than US$2 billion, and they mainly went to the eastern provinces. US natural gas exports to Canada were 3.3 billion ft3/d in February 2019, the highest level on record.

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