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Value Of U.S-Canada Energy Trade Dips In 2020

The pandemic-driven lower petroleum consumption and lower commodity prices resulted in a decline of over 30 percent in the value of energy trade between the United States and Canada in 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.

Canada is the single largest source of U.S. crude oil imports, accounting for over 60 percent of all U.S. crude imports last year, per EIA estimates.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the value of U.S. energy imports from Canada totaled $58 billion, down by 31 percent on the year. The value of energy imports accounted for more than one-fifth of the value of all U.S. imports from Canada, the EIA said today.

The value of American energy exports to Canada, for its part, dropped by 34 percent year over year in 2020. 

Crude oil and petroleum products combined accounted for 89 percent of the value of all U.S. energy imports from Canada last year.

Imports from Canada in 2020 stood at the lowest level since 2016, as overall U.S. energy imports declined, the EIA said.

U.S. crude oil imports from Canada averaged 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) last year. This compares to crude oil imports of 3.8 million bpd in 2019.

Despite the drop in volumes, Canada's share of total U.S. crude imports rose to 61 percent in 2020, primarily due to lower U.S. imports from OPEC producers as Canada replaced imports from Venezuela. 

In 2020, U.S. crude oil imports from OPEC hit the lowest on record in annual EIA data going back to 1973, but American purchases of Canada's heavy crude have grown and continue to remain high. Between 2005 and 2020, U.S. crude oil imports from Canada more than doubled to an average of 3.6 million bpd. As a result, Canada's share of total U.S. crude oil imports increased and reached a record-high share of 61 percent last year, the EIA said in April.

By Charles Kennedy for

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