Base oil exports from the United States continued to climb in January, registering a 2% year-on-year increase, as per the U.S Energy Information Administration data. Notably, the export volumes to Brazil and Belgium experienced a significant boost. However, the data also showed a 7% fall in import volumes into the country. The export market scenario revealed that the increase in export volumes to Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, and Canada made up for the drop in exports to markets like India and Mexico.
Export volumes to Belgium surged 32% to 457,000 barrels, from 311,000 barrels in the previous year. The exports to Brazil showed a remarkable 61% growth, reaching 366,000 barrels compared to 142,000 barrels. Colombian exports rose 16% to 93,000 barrels, and exports to Canada increased by 3%, reaching 259,000 barrels. In contrast, Indian exports experienced the steepest drop among destination markets, declining by 82% to 45,000 barrels from 253,000 barrels.
The increased demand for U.S base oils from Brazil and Belgium is a clear indication of the market’s growing interest in the country’s high-quality base oils. Brazil is one of the top importers of base oils worldwide, and the country’s growing automotive and industrial sectors necessitate high-quality base oils for production. Meanwhile, Belgium, being a key transit point for trade in Europe, has a strong demand for U.S base oils. Overall, the U.S base oil market seems to be on a promising path of growth and expansion.
In January, exports of base oil to Mexico from the United States declined by 12%, falling to a total of 847,000 barrels. Meanwhile, imports of base oil into the United States in January decreased to 1.2 million barrels, down from 1.1 million barrels in the same period last year. This represents the lowest import volume recorded since January 2022, with the exception of November 2022, when imports totaled 967,000 barrels. The majority of the base oil imports in January came from Qatar, Canada, and South Korea, accounting for 67% of total imports
Among these countries, Canada saw a 6% increase in base oil imports, reaching a volume of 301,000 barrels. Qatar’s base oil imports also increased by 20% to 307,000 barrels in January, compared to 256,000 barrels in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the volume of base oil imported from South Korea surged by 54% to 213,000 barrels in January, compared to 138,000 barrels. However, apart from a sharp dip to nearly zero volume in November, January’s volume was the lowest imported from South Korea since June of the previous year. Other countries from which the United States imports base oil experienced declines in volume, with the volume from the Netherlands declining by 23% to 90,000 barrels and base oil imports from Indonesia decreasing by 10% to 57,000 barrels.