Crude Oil Exports Fuel Trade Deficit Decrease
The U.S. trade deficit for goods and services declined 1.7% to $616.8 billion in 2019, the first annual decrease since 2013. According to new annual data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the deficit decline in the international trade balance was driven by energy independence.
Crude oil exports soared 35.5% or $17.1 billion compared to the same period in 2018, while crude oil imports cratered 19.3% or $30.3 billion over the prior year.
Crude Oil Exports rose by roughly $17.1 billion from 2018 to 2019. The largest increases in exports to the following countries:
- S. Korea, up $3.5 billion.
- Netherlands, $3.0 billion.
- India, $2.1 billion.
- Thailand, $1.5 billion.
Crude Oil Imports fell roughly $30.3 billion from 2018 to 2019. The largest declines in imports from the following countries:
- Saudi Arabia, $10.2 billion.
- Venezuela, $9.0 billion.
- Iraq, $5.0 billion.
- Mexico, $2.1 billion.
- Angola, $1.7 billion.
The U.S. Census Bureau also noted other significant changes in trade from 2018 to 2019. The top categories were automobiles, pharmaceuticals, corn and commercial jets.
In automobiles, there were gains in both imports and exports. Passenger car imports rose $1.9 billion, while exports rose $4.9 billion. Trucks, buses and special purpose vehicle imports gained $4.8 billion, while exports rose $1.6 billion.
Pharmaceutical trade also increased in both exports ($6.3 billion) and imports ($16.0 billion). Corn exports fell sharply amid trade negotiations.