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Today in Energy

August 14, 2023

Higher energy prices push United States energy trade with Canada to record-high value

annual value of selected energy trade between the United States and Canada
Data source: Standard International Trade Classification data published by the U.S. Census Bureau
Note: Prices are adjusted for inflation.

In 2022, the value of energy trade between the United States and Canada surpassed the previous 2008 record high on the back of high commodity prices, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. By volume, 2022 energy trade between the two countries remained nearly unchanged from 2021. However, in 2022, because energy prices were high, energy trade between the United States and Canada totaled $190 billion when adjusted for inflation, compared with $134 billion in 2021 and $178 billion in 2008. Energy trade value is the combined value of energy imports and exports between two countries. Trade value is driven by both commodity prices and the commodity volumes imported and exported.

The value of U.S. exports to Canada and U.S. imports from Canada increased by a combined 41% in 2022, but the value of trade was much higher for U.S. imports from Canada. The value of U.S. energy imports from Canada totaled $156.3 billion when adjusted for inflation, and the inflation-adjusted value of U.S. energy exports to Canada was $33.8 billion.

monthly volumes of selected energy commodities trade with Canada
Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, International Energy Statistics

Crude oil. U.S. crude oil imports from Canada in 2022 averaged 3.7 million barrels per day (b/d) by volume—nearly unchanged from 2021. The value of U.S. imports of crude oil from Canada increased 38% in 2022 to $113 billion. Canada is a key source of U.S. crude oil imports, accounting for 60% of crude oil imports into the United States in 2022. U.S crude oil exports to Canada averaged 305,000 b/d by volume in 2022, a slight decline from 2021. By value, U.S crude oil exports increased by 43% in 2022, totaling $11.9 billion.

U.S. crude oil exports to Canada are typically low-density and low-sulfur crude oil grades shipped to Eastern Canada. U.S. crude oil imports from Canada tend to be high-sulfur crude oil from oil sands in Western Canada, most of which are shipped to U.S. Midwest refineries.

Petroleum products. Petroleum product trade by volume between the United States and Canada changed relatively little from 2021. In 2022, the United States imported 580,000 b/d of petroleum products from Canada. Although the volume of petroleum product imports remained stable between 2021 and 2022, the value of petroleum product imports from Canada increased 35%, or $22 billion, from 2021 to 2022. By volume, U.S. petroleum product exports to Canada in 2022 averaged 524,000 b/d, which was similar to 2021. However, the value of U.S. petroleum product exports to Canada in 2022 was 36% higher than in 2021.

Natural gas. Although volumes of natural gas trade remained similar to 2021, the 2022 trade value increased. Natural gas imports from Canada in both 2021 and 2022 averaged 7.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), but the value of these imports was 76% higher in 2022. Similarly, in both 2021 and 2022, natural gas exports to Canada averaged 2.5 Bcf/d, but the value nearly doubled, totaling $4.1 billion in 2022.

Principal contributors: Kimberly Peterson, Sean Hill