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US petroleum products exports set new record in 1H23

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The EIA reports that US exports of petroleum products grew by 2% to nearly 6 million bpd in 1H23, compared to the same period in 2022.

Exports of propane and other hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) drove the increase, as exports of other major petroleum products such as motor gasoline, distillate fuel oil, and jet fuel all decreased compared with 1H22. Export growth in 1H23 was lower than growth in 1H22, when exports quickly rose to meet increased demand in Europe after the region took measures to reduce imports from Russia. US exports of crude oil also continued to increase in 1H23, rising to 4.0 million bpd, 19% higher than 1H22.

US propane exports averaged 1.5 million bpd in 1H23, an 8% increase (119 000 bpd) from 1H22. Propane was the most-exported US petroleum product in 1H23, continuing a trend that began in 2020, making propane the primary driver of overall higher US petroleum product exports so far this year. US exports of propane and other HGLs to Asia, where they are primarily consumed as feedstock in the petrochemical industry, have grown rapidly in recent years. These increased exports to Asian markets distinguish propane from other major US refined product exports such as distillate and gasoline, which mostly flow to destinations in the Americas. About 59% of US propane exports went to Asia in 1H23, mostly to Japan, China, and South Korea, matching the historical trend of previous years. Propane exports to destinations in Europe decreased compared with 1H22, as did propane exports to destinations in Central and South America. Other HGL exports were also a significant driver of export growth in 1H23, increasing by 9% (85 000 bpd) compared with 1H22.

The US exported 1.1 million bpd of distillate fuel oil in 1H23, a 5% (51 000 bpd) decrease from the same time last year, led by lower exports to destinations in Central and South America. Despite the decrease, Central and South America combined remains the largest destination for U.S. distillate, accounting for 57% of all US distillate exports. The US also exported less distillate to Canada and the Asia and Oceania region compared with 1H22.

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