In first-half 2022 (January-June), US petroleum product exports averaged nearly 6 million b/d, the largest first-half export in the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s Petroleum Supply Monthly data, dating back to 1973.
Compared with first-half 2021, US petroleum product exports grew by 11% (596,000 b/d) in first-half 2022 – the fastest growth rate for this period since 2017. Almost all petroleum products contributed to export growth, with the largest volumes coming from distillate fuel oils and hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs), including propane.
Distillate fuel oil exports increased by 19% (190,000 b/d) from first-half 2021 to first-half 2022. High global demand and low inventories, coupled with economic sanctions on Russia and self-sanctions by some companies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, have disrupted global distillate trade. European imports of distillates from Russia have so far been little changed from 2021, despite changes in trade patterns for other products.
Sanctions passed in Europe in June ban the import of crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia, including distillate fuel oil, and will take effect in December for crude oil and February 2023 for oil products. With these sanctions not yet in effect, EIA has not seen the expected increase in US exports to Europe, and instead, exports to Europe decreased to 71,000 b/d in first-half 2022, while US distillate exports to Latin America increased to over 1 million b/d.
Propane was the top US petroleum product exported in the first half of the year, continuing a trend that began in 2020. US propane exports averaged 1.4 million b/d in first-half 2022, up 6% (78,000 b/d) from first-half 2021. US exports to Asia have grown rapidly in recent years as propane consumption and consumer demand have increased as a petrochemical feedstock. This year, changing supply patterns have increased European demand for US propane. Much of the growth in propane exports in first-half 2022 went to Europe. US propane exports to Europe rose 51% (87,000 b/d) and hit a record 349,000 b/d in June.
US motor gasoline exports rose 11% (89,000 b/d) to a record 910,000 b/d in first-half 2022. US jet fuel exports more than doubled in first-half 2022 compared to the same period last year. Only US residual fuel oil exports fell slightly compared with last year, to 113,000 b/d.