For First Time, U.S. Imports Topped $1 Trillion In 4 Months, New Data Shows

U.S. trade topped $1 trillion in the first four months of the year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released on Tuesday.

At this rate, annual imports will exceed nearly 10% of total U.S. trade — including exports — reached in 2020, just two years ago.

Until April, US trade stood at $1.7 trillion, an increase of 20.79% compared to the same four months of 2021, a record year.

Prior to this year, US imports had never exceeded $900 billion in the first four months. While imports increased by 22.08%. The United States exports 18.75%. In most years, this percentage would be surprising, especially after a record year for exports.

Because record exports of $650.58 billion have not kept pace with record import growth, the U.S. deficit – which topped $1 trillion last year for the first time – soared above $400 billion. dollars for the first time in the first four months of a year. Last year, April’s year-to-date deficit topped $300 billion for the first time.

What’s going on? If you drive a car, you know.

While imports have indeed exploded, it can all be summed up in three letters: Oil. And then the letters of its by-products—gasoline and other refined petroleum products and liquid and natural gas. And not just on the import side.

Largely due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine but also a general upturn in driving and flying activity that had been dampened by Covid-19 in 2020, the price of oil rebounded rapidly.

This means that China and Mexico, the two largest manufacturers of American products, cannot keep up with Canada, by far the largest supplier of imported American oil. Therefore, it is the country’s largest trading partner. And it is not by little that he ranks first.

Through April, trade between Canada and the United States topped $254.91 billion, the highest for any country in four months and on track to break the single-year record for trade US by one country – which it set last year at $664.16 billion.

Trade between Mexico and the United States was $248.36 billion with China at $226.90 billion. These three nations accounted for just under 43% of all US trade through April, a typical percentage for all three.

Generally speaking, however, the totals for all three are relatively close. With oil prices above $100 a barrel and China’s periodic shutdown in an attempt to achieve zero tolerance for Covid-19, the cards have been mixed, with neither China nor Mexico in the lead.

The importance of energy trade is clear.

The total value of U.S. exports and imports of petroleum, refined petroleum and natural gas topped $195.85 billion through April, breaking the record set in 2012, when the total was $1.82.82 billion. of dollars.

There is, however, a significant difference between 20212 and today. In 2012, 61% of this total was imported oil. Until April this year, although US oil imports topped $60 billion for the first time since 2014, imported oil accounted for only 31% of the total.

During this decade, U.S. exports of petroleum increased by 4,245.56%, gasoline and other refined petroleum products by 22.15%, and LN
G and other natural gases 843.51%.

As a result, through April, the United States was a net exporter of these three major oil-related commodities, with exports at $102.73 billion – the first time above $100 billion – and imports at $93.13 billion. This is the third month of April in a row that the United States was a net exporter.

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