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API: U.S. crude oil imports up 1.9 percent from last year

Short-term trends paint a different picture, with imports from Saudi Arabia down more than 600,000 barrels per day from last year.

By Daniel J. Graeber
API: U.S. crude oil imports up 1.9 percent from last year
The American Petroleum Institute reports crude oil imports into the United States are slightly higher than last year. Photo by Pepj/Shutterstock

June 23 (UPI) -- Despite a recent reversal, crude oil imports into the United States are up 1.9 percent year-to-date from last year, the American Petroleum Institute reported.

API published monthly data from May, showing total U.S. crude oil production averaged 9.3 million barrels per day, up 0.9 percent from April and 5.1 percent higher year-over-year.

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Federal data show total U.S. crude oil production at 9.35 million barrels per day for last week, a 7.7 percent increase from the same time last year. Through June 16, total cumulative U.S. oil production is higher than last year by 2 percent, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday.

"For year-to-date, crude imports were up 1.9 percent compared with year-to-date 2016," the API reported. "For year-to-date, total petroleum imports were up 2.3 percent compared with year-to-date 2016."

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Compared to monthly figures, however, total crude oil imports were down 3.4 percent from May 2016, the trade group reported.

Canada is the No. 1 oil exporter to the United States by far, sending 3.2 million barrels per day south last week, up 5.9 percent from last year. In terms of percent, imports from Columbia were down 55 percent from last year. By volume, Saudi Arabia posted the largest decline in U.S. crude oil exports year-on-year, with the 872,000 barrels per day delivered for the week ending June 16, lower than the same time last year by 613,000 barrels per day.

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Crude oil prices have moved on weekly API and EIA data on U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories. Mid-June reports of a surplus helped drag crude oil prices below the $50 per barrel market, though data last week showed inventory declines for both.

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Jenna Delaney, a senior oil analyst for Platts Analytics, said midweek that "one bullish factor" in the weekly reports was that imports into the United States, the world's largest economy, were on the decline.

API reported that total petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, were up 2.7 percent from April and 1.5 percent higher than last year.

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