U.S. Base Oil Exports Swell, Imports Fall


U.S. Base Oil Exports Swell, Imports Fall
A line of petroleum tank cars on a railroad at sunset. © Dabarti CGI

Base oil exports from the United States increased 2% year on year in January to 2.8 million barrels – driven mainly by large increases in exports to Brazil and Belgium – while import volumes into the U.S. declined 7%, according to U.S Energy Information Administration data.

Increases in base oil export volumes to markets such as Belgium, Brazil, Colombia and Canada compensated for steep drops in exports to markets such as India and Mexico.

U.S. base oil exports to Belgium rose 32% to 457,000 barrels, compared to 311,000 barrels.

Exports to Brazil jumped 61% to 366,000 barrels, from 142,000 barrels, while exports to Colombia rose 16% to 93,000 barrels.

The volume of base oil exports to Canada increased 3% to 259,000 barrels.

Exports to India posted the sharpest decline among destination markets, plummeting 82% to 45,000 barrels, compared to 253,000 barrels.

The volume exported to Mexico slipped 12% to 847,000 barrels.

Base oil imports into the U.S. decreased to 1.2 million barrels in January, compared to 1.1 million barrels. Aside from 967,000 barrels last November, that was the lowest import volume reported since 1.1 million barrels in January 2022.

The largest volumes of imported base oil originated from Qatar, Canada and South Korea, which together accounted for 67% of imports in January.

Base oil imports from Canada increased 6% to 301,000 barrels. The volume of base oil imports from Qatar jumped 20% to 307,000 barrels in January, up from 256,000 barrels.

The volume imported from South Korea surged 54% to 213,000 barrels in January, compared to 138,000 barrels. However, aside from a dip to nearly zero volume in November, January’s volume was the lowest imported from the country since June last year. Among other countries that the U.S. imports base oil from, the volume from the Netherlands declined 23% to 90,000 barrels, and base oil imports from Indonesia decreased 10% to 57,000 barrels.

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