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U.S. crude oil exports rose to 1.02 million bpd in May compared to 1.00 million bpd in April, according to foreign trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau out on Thursday.
Canada was the biggest market of U.S. crude exports, taking in 372,000 bpd, according to Census Bureau figures quoted by Reuters. U.S. oil exports to China stood at 147,000 bpd, and U.S. crude exports to the Netherlands came in at 108,000 bpd. Other countries to which the U.S. exported crude oil in smaller quantities included Malaysia, the UK, Colombia, Curacao, Peru, Bahamas, Spain, Norway, Italy, France, South Korea, Japan, and Argentina.
U.S. imports of crude oil were also up, averaging 8.548 million bpd in May, compared to 7.641 million bpd in April, Census Bureau trade data showed. Between January and May, U.S. crude oil imports averaged 8.267 million bpd.
The EIA will publish its monthly crude oil figures for May at the end of this month. The EIA bases its numbers on data by the Census Bureau.
Restrictions on exporting U.S. produced crude oil were lifted in December 2015, and last year the United States exported an average of 520,000 bpd of crude, EIA data shows. U.S. crude oil exports reached 1.1 million bpd in February 2017, the highest monthly level on record. While Canada remains the largest destination for U.S. crude oil exports, Canada’s share of U.S. crude oil exports has declined sharply, from 92 percent in 2015 to 58 percent in 2016, the EIA said last week.
According to the latest available EIA data—through April—by export destination, China overtook Canada as the biggest buyer of U.S. crude oil in two of the months so far this year, in February and in April.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.