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U.S. Fuel Exports Broke Records In The First Half Of 2022

U.S. exports of petroleum products jumped by 11% to a record 6 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2022, with exports growing at their fastest pace in five years, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday.

This year's first-half exports were the highest in EIA monthly data going back to 1973, with distillate fuel oil and hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGLs), which include propane, representing the largest volumes.

U.S. motor gasoline exports also increased, by 11%, to reach a record of 910,000 bpd for the first half of 2022, while jet fuel exports more than doubled compared with the same period last year.  

Growing global demand for distillate fuel, low inventories in the world, and the disruption of trade flows after the Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in a 19% jump in American distillate fuel exports between January and June.

Exports of those petroleum products to Europe haven’t increased yet because the EU ban on imports of petroleum products from Russia by sea doesn’t enter into force until February 2023. However, according to the EIA, Latin America has been a very large and growing market for U.S. distillate fuel exports.

Because the EU sanctions have not yet gone into effect, “we have not seen the expected increase in U.S. exports to Europe, and instead exports to Europe decreased to 71,000 b/d in the first half of 2022, while U.S. distillate exports to Latin America increased to more than 1 million b/d,” the EIA said.

At the same time, amid low inventories at home, the Biden Administration has reportedly urged American refiners to limit their fuel exports, according to a letter U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm sent last month to seven big refiners obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

“Given the historic level of U.S. refined product exports, I again urge you to focus in the near term on building inventories in the United States, rather than selling down current stocks and further increasing exports,” Secretary Granholm wrote in the letter, according to the Journal.  

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By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com 

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