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Key Economic Trends

  • In 2008, the overall U.S. trade deficit in energy-related products increased by 31 percent, primarily because of increased crude petroleum prices. These prices increased from $68 per barrel in 2007 to an average of $95 per barrel in 2008; during third quarter 2008, prices reached a high of $133 per barrel before falling to about $40 per barrel during the fourth quarter.
  • U.S. exports of crude petroleum remained constant at 9.9 million barrels in both 2007 and 2008, with Canada as the only market for these exports. U.S. imports of crude petroleum declined by 100 million barrels (3 percent) to 3.6 billion barrels in 2008, due to declines in domestic consumption coupled with increased U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico. Nevertheless, because of the price increases, the value of U.S. imports rose by $88.5 billion (47 percent) to $275 billion. In 2008, Canada continued to be the largest single supplier of crude petroleum to the U.S. market.
  • U.S. exports of petroleum products increased by 26 percent, from 513 million barrels in 2007 to 644 million barrels in 2008.
  • Although the increased price for crude petroleum caused the value of U.S. petroleum product imports to rise by 28 percent ($27.9 billion) in 2008, the quantity of U.S. imports actually decreased by 9 percent.
  • The U.S. trade balance for coal, coke, and other carbonaceous materials moved from a deficit during the 2004-07 period to a trade surplus of $1.2 billion in 2008, primarily as a result of increased prices for coal.

Trade Shifts in 2008 from 2007

  • U.S. trade deficit: Increased by $92.4 billion (31 percent) to $390.6 billion
  • U.S. exports: Increased by $35.1 billion (75 percent) to $81.7 billion
  • U.S. imports: Increased by $8.1 billion (9 percent) to $96.2 billion

Selected Product Shifts

Other Government Resources

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration