Canada is the top energy trade partner of the United States and was the largest source of American energy imports last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Friday.
According to the latest annual Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the value of U.S. energy imports from Canada stood at US$85 billion in 2019. Energy imports accounted for more than a quarter of all U.S. imports from Canada, at 27 percent, according to Census Bureau data.
While Canada is the biggest energy supplier to the United States, it is also the second-biggest destination for U.S. energy exports, behind Mexico.
In the U.S.-Canada energy trade, crude oil and petroleum products accounted for 91 percent of the value of U.S. energy imports from Canada and 89 percent of the value of U.S. energy exports to Canada.
American crude oil imports from Canada accounted for 56 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports last year. Crude imports from Canada averaged 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 3.7 million bpd average imports in 2018. Canada mostly exports heavy crude oil from Alberta to America’s refineries, mostly in the Midwest.
On the other hand, Canada was the top destination for U.S. crude oil exports, which tend to be sweet light grades exported to eastern Canada. Last year, the U.S. exported on average 459,000 bpd of crude oil to Canada, according to Census Bureau data.
Due to the chronic shortage of pipeline takeaway capacity out of Canada in recent years, U.S. imports of crude by rail from Canada tripled between 2016 and 2019—from an average of 91,000 bpd to an average of 300,000 bpd last year, the EIA said. More than half of last year’s crude by rail imports, 171,000 bpd, went to the U.S. Gulf Coast.