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High Oil Prices Help To Send U.S. Trade Deficit To Nearly $1 Trillion

High oil prices have helped to send the U.S. international trade deficit to nearly $1 trillion, according to a Tuesday release by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The goods and services deficit in 2022 was $948.1 billion, an increase of $103 billion over the deficit in 2021, with imports up $556.1 billion.

The increase in trade deficit is in large part due to higher crude oil prices, although falling crude oil prices toward the back end of the year when crude prices were lower, saw imports of industrial supplies and materials--which includes crude oil—fall $2.7 billion to $59.6 billion. Exports in December fell to $250.2 billion, with goods shipments dropping 1.7% mainly on the back of falling crude prices.

Ovearll in 2022, exports of crude oil on a Census basis increased by $47.5 billion, with fuel oil increasing by $28.1 billion. Meanwhile, imports of crude oil rose by $65.1 billion, with other petroleum products increasing by $12.6 billion.

The U.S. deficit widened with countries such as China, the European Union, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Japan, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few trade partners, but the largest increase in the deficit was with the EU.

Brent crude oil prices started 2022 around $80 per barrel—about $30 per barrel higher than the year prior. The United States purchased the most crude oil last year from Canada, with Mexico, and Saudi Arabia a distant second and third. The United State’s trade deficit with Canada grew $31.6 billion last year to $81.6 billion.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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