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Key Economic Trends

  • The U.S. trade deficit in the energy-related products sector decreased in 2009 by 49 percent, primarily due to falling prices of crude petroleum and to declines in U.S. imports resulting from increased domestic production in the Gulf of Mexico and lower demand. World prices for crude petroleum decreased from an average of $98 per barrel during 2008 to an average of $62 per barrel during 2009, and in terms of quantity, declined from 3.6 billion barrels to 3.3 billion barrels. Canada continued to be the largest single supplier of crude petroleum to the U.S. market.
  • U.S. exports of petroleum products were minimal, accounting for only about 7 percent of total U.S. production in 2009. The value of U.S. imports of petroleum product decreased by 42 percent in 2009 because of the price declines for crude petroleum and reduced domestic demand. The quantity of U.S. imports of these products decreased by 9 percent to 977.5 million barrels in 2009.
  • Like crude petroleum, the average natural gas price also decreased sharply, falling from $9.18 per thousand cubic feet in 2008 to $6.47 per thousand cubic feet in 2009. The quantity of natural gas exports (pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined) decreased slightly, from 1.0 trillion cubic feet in 2008 to 943 billion cubic feet in 2009. U.S. imports of natural gas decreased by only 7 percent to 3.6 trillion cubic feet. About 90 percent of U.S. trade in natural gas is via pipelines, with the remainder being in the form of LNG.
  • U.S. exports of coal decreased in value by 21 percent in 2009 to $8.2 billion; the quantity of exports also decreased substantially, from 81.5 million short tons in 2008 to 59.1 million short tons in 2009. U.S. imports of coal decreased by 55 percent in value to $4.1 billion in 2009; the quantity of imports decreased by 34 percent, to 22.6 million short tons.
  • The value of U.S. exports of electricity decreased by 59 percent to $575 million in 2009; the quantity, by 22 percent. On the other hand, the value of U.S. imports of electricity decreased by 43 percent to $2.1 billion in 2009, while the quantity of U.S. imports increased by 16 percent. Canada is the only market for U.S. trade in electricity, as the two nations share an interconnected grid across the border.

Trade Shifts from 2008 to 2009

  • U.S. trade deficit: Decreased by $189.5 billion (49 percent) to $201.1 billion
  • U.S. exports: Decreased by $21.9 billion (27 percent) to $59.8 billion
  • U.S. imports: Decreased by $211.4 billion (45 percent) to $260.9 billion

Other Government Resources

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration

Monthly Energy Review

Petroleum Supply Monthly

Quarterly Coal Report

Short-Term Energy Outlook