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Today in Energy

May 6, 2022

In 2021, the value of energy trade between the U.S. and Mexico reached a nine-year high

value of selected energy trade between Mexico and the United States
Source: Graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Standard International Trade Classification data published by the U.S. Census Bureau

In 2021, the value of energy trade between the United States and Mexico reached a nine-year high. This energy trade value represents the combined value of energy imports and exports between the two countries. In 2021, energy accounted for 15% of the value of all U.S. exports to Mexico. The value of U.S. energy exports to Mexico totaled $42 billion in 2021—the highest value in the U.S. Census Bureau data, which started in 1996.

monthly volumes of selected energy commodities trade with Mexico
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics

Crude oil accounted for 82% of the value of U.S. energy imports from Mexico in 2021. U.S. crude oil imports from Mexico averaged 583,000 barrels per day (b/d). Even though by volume this amount is a decrease compared with 2020, the value of U.S. crude oil imports from Mexico rose to $13 billion in 2021, consistent with global oil price increases.

Mexico was the second-largest source of U.S. imports of crude oil, behind only Canada. As Mexico’s crude oil production has declined in recent years, the availability of crude oil for export to the United States has also decreased.

Petroleum products exported to Mexico, including finished motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, account for 21% of U.S. energy exports. In 2021, U.S. petroleum product exports to Mexico averaged 1.2 million b/d.

The value of U.S. petroleum product exports—the largest component of energy trade with Mexico on a value basis—increased from a low of $19 billion in 2020 to $31 billion in 2021. Use of petroleum products in Mexico increased in 2021 as the economy recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. motor gasoline exports to Mexico accounted for more than half of Mexico’s total gasoline use.

Natural gas trade consists mostly of pipeline shipments from the United States to Mexico. U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico averaged 5.9 billion cubic feet per day in 2021, 99% of which was sent by pipeline.

Principal contributor: Natalie Kempkey