These countries collectively imported 452,000 b/d of US propane in 2017, or approximately half of total US propane exports. Overall, propane accounted for 17% of all U.S. petroleum product exports in 2017.
US propane exports to these four countries doubled between 2015 and 2017, surpassing some of the region’s propane supplies from the Middle East as well as regional production of propane from refineries and natural gas processing plants.
Investments in petrochemical facilities that use propane as a feedstock in Asia have created an export outlet for U.S. propane supplies. This source of demand, along with a large US price discount to the international market, drove large investments in US propane export capacity. Propane exports tend to be shipped from ports in the Gulf Coast region, which accounted for 90% of all US propane exports in 2017.
As a result, between 2010 and 2017, gross propane exports grew by 796,000 b/d. By late 2017, partly because of more US propane exports, US propane prices established a closer link with international propane and crude oil prices.