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US EIA: slightly more US petroleum products exported in 1H20 than in 2019

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In 1H20, the US exported 5.4 million bpd of petroleum products, a slight increase of 48 000 bpd (1%) from 1H19, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Greater exports of propane and other hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs) more than offset declines in US exports of transportation fuels such as gasoline, distillate fuel oil, and jet fuel.

Distillate fuel oil usually accounts for the largest share of US petroleum product exports, but in the first half of 2020, the US exported slightly more propane (1.22 million bpd) than distillate fuel oil (1.21 million bpd). US propane exports increased by 175 000 bpd (17%) from the same period in 2019, and US distillate exports decreased by 72,000 bpd (6%).

Propane is used for space heating, transportation, or as a petrochemical feedstock. Most US propane exports are used as petrochemical feedstocks, mainly by facilities in Asia. In March 2020, the Chinese government began issuing tariff waivers on US liquefied petroleum gases, including propane. China was the fourth-largest destination for US propane exports in 1H20 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 US distillate exports are in the Americas: Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Panama. During 1H20, US distillate exports to Mexico fell by an average of about 40 000 bpd (14%) and exports to Brazil fell by 33 000 bpd (17%) compared with 1H19.

Motor gasoline exports in 1H20 averaged 735 000 bpd, a 148 000 bpd (17%) decrease compared with the same period in 2019. The decrease was largest in May, when motor gasoline exports fell to 340 000 bpd, their lowest value since late 2010.

Although jet fuel accounts for a relatively small share of overall US petroleum product exports, travel restrictions and other responses to the spread of coronavirus have significantly affected global jet fuel demand. In 1H20, the US exported 134 000 bpd of kerosene-type jet fuel, a 71 000 bpd (35%) decrease from the same period in 2019. US jet fuel exports hit a low point in May, falling to just 23 000 bpd, their lowest value since mid-2007.

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