ARCHIVED – 2013 Propane and Butanes Exports Summary

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Propane and Butane Exports – Volumes, Average Price and Value
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
PROPANE EXPORTS
Volume (m³) 5 820 365 4 690 449 4 726 567 5 732 031 5 817 023
Volume (bbl/d) 100 233 80 775 81 397 98 712 100 175
Average Price (¢/L) 27.17 33.21 37.16 21.62 23.81
Value (Cdn$) 1 581 612 307 1 557 672 814 1 756 276 695 1 239 294 319 1 384 751 481
BUTANE EXPORTS
Volume (m³) 1 647 748 1 368 381 1 164 164 1 432 666 1 086 331
Volume (bbl/d) 28 376 23 565 20 048 24 672 18 708
Average Price (¢/L) 33.75 41.24 51.38 38.52 31.47
Value (Cdn$) 556 100 818 564 333 189 598 081 621 551 945 765 341 861 763

Volumes

Figure 1: Canadian Propane and Butane Export Volumes, 2004-2013

Figure 1: Canadian Propane and Butane Export Volumes, 2004-2013
  • In 2013, Canada exported 5.8 million m³ (100.2 Mbbl/d) of propane. This was 85.0 thousand m³ (1.5 Mbbl/d or 1 per cent) more than in 2012. Amid the overall trend of decreased propane exports in the last decade, propane export volumes in 2013 were slightly less than in 2012 but higher than in 2010 and 2011.
  • In 2013, Canada exported 1.1 million m³ (18.7 Mbbl/d) of butane. This was 346.3 thousand m³(6.0 Mbbl/d or 24 per cent) less than in 2012. Butane export volumes in 2013 were lower than the export volumes in the previous 10 years. (Figure 1)

Figure 2: Propane Export Volumes by Region, 2009-2013

Figure 2: Propane Export Volumes by Region, 2009-2013
  • In 2013, PADD I (U.S. East Coast) received the largest share of Canadian propane, representing 44 per cent (2.6 million m³ or 43.9 Mbbl/d) of total propane exports. Propane exports to PADD I increased by 6 per cent (133.6 thousand m³ or 2.3 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, PADD II (U.S. Midwest) received 40 per cent (2.3 million m³ or 40.0 Mbbl/d) of total propane exports, an increase of 5 per cent (119.7 thousand m³ or 2.1 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, PADD V (U.S. West Coast) received 12 per cent (0.7 million m³ or 11.7 Mbbl/d) of total propane exports, a decrease of 13 per cent (105.7 thousand m³ or 1.8 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, PADD IV (in the U.S. west) received 4 per cent (0.3 million m³ or 4.4 Mbbl/d) of Canadian propane exports, an increase of 3 per cent (7.9 thousand m³ or 0.1 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • PADD III (U.S. Gulf Coast) received the least Canadian propane exports over the last five years, with the highest amount of exports occurring in 2012 (less than 0.1 million m³ or 1.4 Mbbl/d), which was 1 per cent of total propane exports that year. In 2013, propane exports to PADD III decreased by 86 per cent (70.6 thousand m³ or 1.2 Mbbl/d) from 2012. (Figure 2)

Figure 3: Butane Export Volumes by Region, 2009-2013

Figure 3: Butane Export Volumes by Region, 2009-2013
  • In 2013, PADD II received the largest share of Canadian butane, representing 47 per cent (513.3 thousand m³ or 8.8 Mbbl/d) of total butane exports. Butane exports to PADD II decreased by 34 per cent (265.6 thousand m³ or 4.6 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, PADD I received 39 per cent (428.0 thousand m³ or 7.4 Mbbl/d) of total butane exports, a decrease of 8 per cent (36.8 thousand m³ or 0.6 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, PADD V received 10 per cent (104.5 thousand m³ or 1.8 Mbbl/d) of total Canadian butane exports, a decrease of approximately 8 per cent (9.6 thousand m³ or 0.2 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • PADD IV received little Canadian butane during the last five years, with the greatest export volume occurring in 2009 (57.6 thousand m³ or 1.0 Mbbl/d), which was 3 per cent of total butane exports that year. In 2013, butane exports to the PADD IV decreased by 17 per cent (6.8 thousand m³ or 0.1 Mbbl/d) from 2012.
  • PADD III received the least Canadian butane over the last five years, with the greatest export volume occurring in 2012 (35.3 thousand m³ or 0.6 Mbbl/d), which was 2 per cent of total butane exports that year. In 2013, butane exports to PADD III decreased by 78 per cent (27.5 thousand m³ or 0.5 Mbbl/d) from 2012. (Figure 3)

Prices and Values

Figure 4: Canadian Propane and Butane Export Values and Prices, 2004-2013

Figure 4: Canadian Propane and Butane Export Values and Prices, 2004-2013
  • In 2013, the average Canadian propane export price increased to $0.24 per litre, a 10 per cent increase compared to the 2012 average price of $0.22 per litre.
  • The gross value of propane exports for 2013 was $1.38 billion, which was approximately $0.15 billion or 12 per cent greater than the 2012 value of $1.24 billion.
  • Since 2008, when propane exports grossed $2.44 billion, the gross value of Canadian propane exports decreased an average of 11 per cent a year.
  • In 2013, the average Canadian butane export price decreased 18 per cent from $0.39 per litre in 2012 to $0.31 per litre.
  • The gross value of butane exports in 2013 was $0.34 billion, which was $0.21 billion or 38 per cent below 2012 export value of $0.55 billion.
  • In 2013, the gross butane export value was less than any butane value of the previous ten years, or 37 per cent less than the second lowest value in 2004. (Figure 4)

Commentary

Propane

Compared to 2012, in 2013, propane export volumes, prices, and value all increased. Even with the growth in U.S. propane production from the Marcellus shale, Canadian propane exports increased to the U.S. East and Midwest markets compared to 2012. Despite declining natural gas production in Canada, propane production from gas processing plants increased approximately one per cent from 9.3 million m³ (160.2 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 9.4 million m³ (161.9 Mbbl/d) in 2013. The increase is due to natural gas producers targeting natural gas fields with higher liquids content. In 2013, the price for propane at major hubs jumped on account of high crop drying demand in the U.S. Midwest and a very cold winter in eastern North America. Prices in Edmonton and Sarnia increased 95 per cent and 87 per cent respectively between June and December 2013. In January 2014, prices peaked and reached new records – reaching 80 cents per litre in Edmonton and Sarnia on January 28. Strong demand due to cold weather during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 winters affected underground inventories, which remained at or below the five-year range for most of 2013 and into early 2014.

Butane

The 2013 Canadian butane market was characterized by decreased exports, prices, and export value. Overall, Canadian butane exports decreased to all U.S. regions since 2012. Canadian butane exports peaked in the late 1990s and have trended downward since, primarily due to changes in demand from refineries.

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