U.S. exports of petroleum products averaged 3.5 million barrels a day in 2013, a 10-percent increase compared to 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Tuesday in an energy report.
The broad-based increase, the administration said, affected multiple products and regions.
“In December 2013, U.S. exports of petroleum products reached 4.3 million barrels per day, the first time exports exceeded 4 million barrels per day in a single month,” it said.
The administration attributed the growth in export volume to elevated inventories and increases in propane production in 2013.
For example, gasoline exports rose by 45,000 barrels per day in 2013, averaging 550,000 barrels per day for the year. Gasoline exports in December set a monthly record of 770,000 barrels per day, and gasoline exports to Africa, Central and South America, and Mexico increased, the administration said.
However, the administration noted that while exports are increasing, imports are not.
"The United States continues to import significant amounts of petroleum products (2.1 million bbl/d on average in 2013); however, imports are generally declining," the administration said. "Although the Gulf Coast is a large net exporter of gasoline, given present infrastructure constraints, the East Coast continues to import substantial amounts of gasoline from Europe and Canada. Likewise, imports play a critical role in supplying distillate and propane during the winter, particularly on the East Coast, when in-region production along with shipments from other regions are insufficient to meet the increases in demand, especially during very cold weather, as much of the country experienced this past winter."