Energy trade accounted for 12% of the value for all U.S. exports to Mexico and 5% of all U.S. imports from Mexico in 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The key energy products that the two countries have traded include the crude oil Mexico exports to the United States and the refined petroleum products the United States exports to Mexico.
U.S. imports of crude oil from Mexico were the most valuable component of the energy trade through 2014, but starting in 2015, the value of U.S. energy exports to Mexico, including the rising volumes of petroleum products and natural gas, exceeded the value of U.S. energy imports from Mexico as U.S. imports of crude oil from Mexico declined. U.S. exports of petroleum products almost tripled from $10.4 billion in 2008 to a record high of $30.5 billion in 2018, while the value of U.S. energy imports from Mexico were near a record low of $15.8 billion for the second consecutive year in 2018.
The United States imported 665,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Mexico in 2018. The imports accounted for 9% of all imported crude oil, behind only Canada and Saudi Arabia. The value of imports rose 40% to $14 billion in 2018, from $10 billion in 2017. In 2018, Mexico received more than 1.2 million barrels per day of petroleum products from the United States, and the value of the products were more than $30 billion. U.S. exports of the products to Mexico accounted for 22% of all petroleum products exported from the United States in 2018. The majority of the products were finished motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil.
The United States exported 1.862 trillion cubic feet per day of natural gas to Mexico in 2018, and 90% of this amount was sent through pipelines. U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Mexico were 350 billion cubic feet, between August 2016 and December 2018, and this accounted for 18% of all U.S. LNG exports.
NATURAL GAS INVENTORIES
Working natural gas storage in the lower 48 states was 1.137 trillion cubic feet as of March 31, and was 30% lower than the previous five-year average at that time of the year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The storage level was the lowest since 2014, when inventories were 837 billion cubic feet.
Working natural gas inventories were 3.198 trillion cubic feet in November 2018 and were the lowest level for that time of year in more than a decade. The inventories fell over the winter at a rate consistent with historical trends.
Cold weather in November 2018 led to the withdrawal of 206 billion cubic feet of natural gas — almost twice as much as a typical November. The withdrawals in December were 320 billion cubic feet, down from the five-year average of 523 billion cubic feet. Withdrawals over the remaining winter months were within 20% of their typical values.