Saturday, December 3, 2011

US becomes a Net Exporter of Petroleum products for the first time in 62 years!! Is this a good thing? Nice new graphic showing the cause...

This caught me by surprise. The US, for the first time in 62 years, has become a net EXPORTER of petroleum and petroleum based products.  Gasoline and diesel fuels (for cars and trucks) lead the way.
The following graph may help explain some of the reason.  It shows a leveling-off of gasoline supplied in the US starting in about 2005 and then declined in 2007-08 (recession started).
Source: EIA

However, this does not mean that  the production of gasoline has decreased.  While demand is soft in the US, many other economys in the world are growing and have an increased demand for gasoline.  This graph shows the production of gasoline. 

Notice how production varies in the short term, but if I am reading the trend line correctly, it has increased in the past year.  Use your imagination and put these three graphics together---A declining supply of gasoline in the US market, an increasing supply of gasoline produced in the US = export of the difference---its gotta go somewhere...

From the WSJ:

""U.S. customers have been pulling back in part because an anemic economic recovery has left millions still looking for work. In August, U.S. drivers burned 7.7% less gasoline than four years earlier, when gasoline usage peaked...

But U.S. drivers aren't seeing much benefit in the form of lower prices because refineries on the Gulf Coast are shipping much of their output to places where demand is strong, keeping prices high....
Mexico and Brazil were major consumers of U.S. exports, according to the September data, while the Netherlands—home to key European ports —and Singapore also were significant net importers.

Argentina and Peru are now net importers from the U.S. For the next year or two, "the economies in Latin America will be growing faster than in the U.S. and the trend of increasing exports should continue," says Daniel Vizel, U.S. head of oil trading for Macquarie Group Ltd.
Singapore's net imports from the U.S. roughly quadrupled in the past five years, while Mexico's rose by about two-thirds. Mexico, in particular, is having trouble keeping pace with gasoline demand and buys about 60% of gasoline exports from the U.S...;""

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