Canada’s imports of U.S. crude increased in 2018

Despite being one of the world’s largest crude oil producers, Canada continues to be the largest single destination for U.S. exports.

Canada’s imports of U.S. crude increased in 2018, in part because U.S. volumes to China dropped due to trade issues between the two countries, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.

In 2018, U.S. exports of crude oil rose to 2.0 million bbls/d, nearly double the 1.2 million bbl/d rate in 2017, the EIA said.

“Canada received 378,000 bbls/d of U.S. crude oil exports, representing 19 percent of total U.S. crude oil exports in 2018," the EIA said.

That's down from 29 per cent in 2017 and 61 per cent in 2016.

"South Korea surpassed China to become the second-largest destination for U.S. crude oil exports in 2018, receiving 236,000 bbls/d compared with China’s 228,000 bbls/d,” the EIA said.

The distribution of U.S. crude oil exports by destination varied significantly from the first half of 2018 to the second half.

“In the first half of 2018, the United States exported 376,000 bbls/d of crude oil to China, which made China the largest single destination for U.S. crude oil exports for that period. However, in August, September, and October of 2018, the United States exported no crude oil to China. U.S. crude oil exports to China resumed in the final two months of the year but at much lower volumes. On average, the United States exported 83,000 bbls/d of crude oil to China in the second half of 2018.”

The drop in U.S. crude oil exports came after the Chinese government temporarily included U.S. crude oil on a list of goods subject to increased import tariffs in addition to a narrowing difference between international crude oil prices and U.S. crude oil prices, the EIA said.

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