Weekly Petroleum Report -- U.S. Crude Imports Fall Significantly in 2012

March 21, 2013 04:56 AM


U.S. crude oil imports fell significantly in 2012 according to EIA. Since peaking in 2005 at 10.1 million bbl/day, U.S. crude oil imports fell in six of the subsequent seven years, amounting to a total decline of more than 1.6 million bbl/d -- 16.1%. Imports represented 57% of the crude oil run in U.S. refineries in 2012, down from 67% in 2005.

The Gulf coast region, which boasts roughly half of the nation's refining capacity has seen an 80% drop in imports since 2005. But opposite this trend, the Midwest has been importing significantly more crude oil since 2005. Current gasoline pricing across the nation illustrates the impact of imported crude as gasoline prices in all regions fell with the notable exception of the Midwest -- which imports more crude than any other region.

In 2012, runs of imported crude oil reached 1.7 million bbl/d -- a 14% increase. In 2005, almost 34% of imported crude oil run in the Midwest was shipped to the Midwest via another region. However, by 2012, nearly all imported crude processed in the Midwest was imported directly from Canada. While total U.S. crude imports have been decreasing, imports from Canada have gone up 775,000 bbl/d since 2005. The United States imported 2.4 million bbl/d of Canadian crude oil in 2012, or about 28% of total U.S. crude imports.

Crude Oil --

April 13 WTI crude has been all over the place climbing to $94.49/barrel Tuesday before falling hard to $92.40. Since then, WTI has followed a crooked path -- currently at $92.82/barrel and trending lower. But the way this contract is acting at present suggests continued volatility in a moderate pricing range ahead.

U.S. crude stocks fell 1.3 million barrels but remain strong and well above the five-year average. Current inventories total 382.7 million barrels -- 36.4 million barrels above year-over.

Gasoline and diesel fuel prices both decreased for a 3rd week The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased one cent to $3.70 per gallon, down 17 cents from last year at this time. Prices declined in all regions of the nation except the Midwest, where the price is $3.65 per gallon which demonstrates the influence of imported crude on regional pricing.

Farm Diesel moved $0.02 lower in the Inputs Monitor Regional Index to $3.629.

Propane --

Residential Propane prices fell a penny during the report week to $4.01/gallon -- 39 cents less than the same time last year.

LP $0.003 higher to $1.505/gallon on the farm according to Inputs Monitor data.

According to EIA, "U.S. propane stocks fell 1.2 million barrels to end at 41.8 million barrels last week, and are 1.0 million barrels -- 2.3% -- lower than the same period a year ago. Gulf Coast inventories dropped by 1.2 million barrels, while East Coast, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain/West Coast inventories changed only slightly."

Distillate --

Distillate supply fell by 0.7 million barrels (mmbbl) to 119.8 mmbbl. That is still 16.8 mmbbl below year-ago levels, but distillate supplies are gradually moving higher into the five year average as winter starts to ease.




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