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EIA: US Oil Exports Reducing Trade Deficit

Crude oil and petroleum products play a significant role in the balance of U.S. trade accounts, says the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the value of petroleum trade is sensitive to both changes in price and volume.

As a result of the last recession, dramatic declines of imports in excess of exports during the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 reduced the merchandise trade deficit by 49%, to $449 billion in the second quarter of 2009. This trend of declining imports resulted in the lowest quarterly deficit level since early 2002. The merchandise trade deficit then increased to $686 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, with much of the difference from the 2008 level ($131 billion) attributable to a $158 billion increase in net exports of crude oil and petroleum products. 

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