U.S. Base Oil Imports, Exports Fell in May


Base oil exports from the United States declined 9% in May, while base oil imports into the country fell 20%, although the import volume was the highest for a month since late last year. Exports to Mexico accounted for the highest export volume but dropped more than 40%.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. base oil exports reached 3.7 million barrels in May, compared to 3.4 million barrels a year earlier and 108% higher than in May 2020. Sequentially, May’s volume was up 29% from April. The May total matched March’s volume, and those were the highest monthly totals since 3.7 million barrels in August 2021. The year-to-date export volume through May was up 3% at 15.5 million barrels, compared to the same period last year.

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Exports to Mexico dropped 43% to 675,000 barrels, compared to 1.2 million barrels. Base oil exports to Mexico topped the 1 million barrels mark from April through September 2021 but have only reached that threshold once since.

U.S. base oil exports to Belgium increased 13% to 597,000 barrels in May. That month and March, at 684,000 barrels, were the only months since August 2021 that exports to Belgium crossed the 500,000-barrel mark.

Exports to Israel surged 1,147% to 324,000 barrels. Exports to Nigeria were up more than 9,000% at 93,000 barrels, compared to 1,000 barrels.

Base oil export to Canada were down 4% at 262,000 barrels in May.

The amount of base oil exported to the Netherlands jumped 1,160% to 63,000 barrels, compared to only 5,000 barrels.

U.S. base oil exports to Brazil dropped 41% to 298,000 barrels. Elsewhere in South America, exports increased 79% in Chile to 129,000 barrels, declined 27% to 97,000 barrels in Colombia and jumped 363% to 148,000 barrels in Argentina.

The U.S. imported 1.9 million barrels of base oil in May, down from in the same month last year, but 42% higher than the 1.1 million barrels imported in May 2020. The May imports total was the highest monthly volume since 1.6 million barrels in November 2021. Sequentially, May’s base oil imports were up 10% from April.

Year-to-date through May, base oil imports decreased 5% to 6.8 million barrels, down 5% from the same period last year, but up 5% from 6.4 million barrels in the same period in 2020.

Imports from South Korea declined 6% to 376,000 barrels in May, compared to 401,000 barrels. Imports originating from Qatar fell 20% to 405,000 barrels, while imports from Canada dropped 37% to 278,000 barrels. Imports from Indonesia fell 60% to 61,000 barrels, compared to 153,000 barrels.

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