US Oil Trade in August 2012

Source: OPEC 9/23/2012, Location: North America

Preliminary data shows that US crude oil imports dropped in August for the second consecutive month by 296 tb/d or 3.3% from the previous month to average 8.6 mb/d. Year-on-year, this reflects a loss of 321 tb/d or 3.6% from a year earlier. US crude imports in August were found to be the lowest since April 2012. It is worth highlighting that, following Hurricane Isaac, US crude imports reached their lowest weekly level since December 2011.

US product imports increased by 117 tb/d or 5.7% to average 2.2 mb/d m-o-m, while dropping 132 tb/d or 5.8% y-o-y. Year-to-date, both crude and product imports declined by 2.7% and 21.4% respectively. In August, US product exports registered a slight drop of 16 tb/d or 0.6% from the previous month to average 2.8 mb/d. Y-o-y, the decrease amounts to 136 tb/d or 5%. As a result, total US net imports slightly declined in August to average 7.9 mb/d, down 2% from the previous month and 3.9% less than last year’s level.

In June, the top suppliers to the US were ranked in the same order as last month. Canada was the premier crude supplier to the US, accounting for 27% of total US crude imports, unchanged from the previous month. Canada has held the top US supplier position since March 2006. Saudi Arabia was the second largest supplier to the US, accounting for 16% of total crude imports. In June, while US imports from Canada increased by 3.5%, imports from Saudi Arabia saw a small decline of 0.6%. Mexico and Venezuela maintained their positions as third and fourth-ranked suppliers to the US, yet both saw their volumes decreased by around 10% and 9%, respectively, from the previous month.

Crude imports from OPEC Member Countries remained almost steady in June, accounting for 48% of total US crude imports. In contrast, US product imports from OPEC Member Countries decreased by 15% from the previous month. As to the product supplier share, Canada and Russia maintained their position as first and second supplier to the US. However, share-wise both saw a modest decline of 2% from a month earlier. Volume-wise, product imports from Canada were 8% lower and imports from Russia were 9% lower than in the previous month. The Netherlands and the UK, third and fourth top product suppliers to the US respectively, saw a gain in monthly imports of 25% and 23%, respectively, while Algeria, the fifth top supplier in June, declined by 32% from May when it was ranked third.

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