The U.S.' petroleum product exports increased slightly in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period of 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a statement on Friday.
In the first half of this year, the U.S. exported an average of 5.47 million barrels per day (bpd) of petroleum products, representing an increase of 19,000 bpd, or 0.3%, from the first half of last year.
This also marked the slowest year-over-year growth rate for any six-month period in the past 13 years, according to the EIA.
The EIA explained the two reasons behind petroleum exports marking the slowest year-over-year growth rate were namely; lower U.S. refinery runs and slowing global economic growth.
However 'in the first half of 2019, increased exports of propane and distillate offset decreased exports of all other petroleum products,' the statement read.
- Distillate comes out tops in petroleum product exports
Distillate, which is used in transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, residential and commercial activities, remained the largest U.S. petroleum product export in the first half of 2019 by averaging 1.3 million bpd - an increase of 60,000 bpd, or 5%, compared to the first half of 2018.
The largest destination for U.S. distillate exports during the first half of 2019 was Mexico, which received 290,000 bpd, or 22%, of total U.S. distillate exports, the EIA said.
'Aside from Mexico, U.S. distillate exports go mostly to Central and South America, including Brazil (13%), Chile (7%), and Peru (5%),' it added.
In Europe, U.S. distillate exports mostly went to the Netherlands, which had a 4% share in total U.S. distillate exports in the first half of this year.
- Propane ranks second
Propane, which is used as a heating and transportation fuel, was the second-largest U.S. petroleum product export in the first half of 2019.
The U.S. exports of propane stood at 1.03 million bpd in the January-June period of 2019, an increase of 142,000 bpd, or 16%, from the same period of 2018, according to the EIA.
The administration said most of the U.S.' exports of propane are destined for use as petrochemical feedstock, mainly at facilities in Asia and Europe.
By Ovunc Kutlu