2015 Propane and Butanes Exports Summary

This summary is based on data from the National Energy Board’s (NEB) natural gas liquids (NGL) export statistics for propane and butane. For discussion and commentary on NGL markets in 2015, please refer to the NEB’s Canadian Energy Dynamics: Highlights of 2015 – Energy Market Analysis and energy Market Snapshots.

Export Summary

Table 1: Export Summary

Propane and Butane Exports - Volumes, Average Price and Value
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
PROPANE EXPORTS
Volume (m³) 4 726 567 5 732 031 5 817 426 5 250 255 6 524 563
Volume (bbl/d) 81 452 98 509 100 251 90 477 112 437
Average Price (¢/L) 37.16 21.62 23.86 31.58 13.18
Value (Cdn$) 1 756 276 695 1 239 294 319 1 388 072 654 1 657 678 350 859 731 741
BUTANE EXPORTS
Volume (m³) 1 164 164 1 432 666 1 086 689 1 223 235 1 411 758
Volume (bbl/d) 20 062 24 622 18 727 21 080 24 329
Average Price (¢/L) 51.38 38.52 31.47 32.18 18.52
Value (Cdn$) 598 081 621 551 945 765 341 861 763 393 645 173 261 425 440

m³ = cubic metres
bbl/d = barrels per day
¢/L = cents per litre (Canadian)

Sources:
Volume
NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query
Value and price
Total reported values allocated by volume, where 1 m³ = 1 000 L

Propane and Butanes Exports by Month and Year

  • Figure 1 shows that in 2015, Canada exported 6.5 million m³ (112.4 Mbbl/dFootnote 1) of propane, a 24 per centFootnote 2 increase from the 5.3 million m³ (90.5 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014. Propane exports in 2015 were the highest volume since 2007.

Figure 1: Canadian Propane and Butanes Export Volumes

Figure 1: Canadian Propane and Butanes Export Volumes

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query

  • In 2015, Canada exported 1.4 million m³ (24.3 Mbbl/d) of butanes, a 15 per cent increase from the 1.2 million m³ (21.1 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014. Figure 2 shows the monthly volumes exported.

Figure 2: Monthly Propane and Butanes Export Volumes

Figure 2: Monthly Propane and Butanes Export Volumes

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query

Regional Exports

Propane

Figure 3 shows that in 2015, the following regions received Canada’s propane exports:

  • PADD II (U.S. Midwest) received 42 per cent.
    • Canada exported 2.7 million m³ (46.9 Mbbl/d) of propane to PADD II, an 18 per cent increase from the 2.3 million m³ (39.8 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014.
  • PADD I (U.S. East Coast) received 29 per cent.
    • Canada exported 1.9 million m³ (32.3 Mbbl/d) of propane to PADD I, a nine per cent increase from the 1.7 million m³ (29.7 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014.
  • PADD V (U.S. West Coast) received 24 per cent, a significant change from the previous year.
    • Canada exported 1.6 million m³ (27.2 Mbbl/d) of propane to PADD V, a 76 per cent increase from the 0.9 million m³ (15.4 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014.
  • PADD IV (U.S. Rockies) received 5 per cent.
    • In 2014 and 2015, Canada exported 0.31 million m³ (approximately 5.3 Mbbl/d) of propane to PADD IV in each year.
  • PADD III (U.S. Gulf Coast) received less than 1 per cent.
    • This region typically receives the least Canadian propane exports as it is a self-sufficient and limited market.
    • Canada exported less than 0.05 million m³ (0.8 Mbbl/d) of propane to PADD III compared to 0.01 million m³ (0.2 Mbbl/d) in 2014.

Figure 3: Yearly Propane Export Volumes by Region

Figure 3: Yearly Propane Export Volumes by Region

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Propane Export Volume by PADD – Query

Butanes

Figure 4 shows that in 2015, the following regions received Canada’s butane exports:

  • PADD II (U.S. Midwest) received 52 per cent.
    • Canada exported 0.73 million m³ (12.7 Mbbl/d) of butane to PADD II, a 54 per cent increase from the 0.48 million m³ (8.2 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014.
  • PADD I (U.S. East Coast) received 25 per cent.
    • Canada exported 0.35 million m³ (6.1 Mbbl/d) of butane to PADD I, a 13 per cent decrease from the 0.41 million m³ (7.0 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014.
  • PADD V (U.S. West Coast) received 14 per cent.
    • Canada exported 0.20 million m³ (3.5 Mbbl/d) of butane to PADD V, a 21 per cent decrease from the 0.26 million m³ (4.4 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014.
  • PADD IV (U.S. Rockies) received seven per cent.
    • Canada exported 0.10 million m³ (1.7 Mbbl/d) of butane to PADD IV compared with 0.06 million m³ (1.0 Mbbl/d) exported in 2014. 
  • PADD III (U.S. Gulf Coast) received one per cent.
    • This region typically receives the least Canadian butane exports as it is a self-sufficient and limited market.
    • Canada exported less than 0.02 million m³ (0.3 Mbbl/d) of butane to PADD III compared with almost 0.03 million m³ (0.4 Mbbl/d) in 2014.

Figure 4: Yearly Butanes Export Volumes by Region

Figure 4: Yearly Butanes Export Volumes by Region

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Butanes Export Volume by PADD – Query

Propane and Butanes Values and Prices

Propane

  • Figure 5 shows that in 2015, the average propane export price was $0.13 per litre, a 58 per cent decrease from the 2014 price of $0.32 per litre.
    • The price per exported litre of propane decreased 65 per cent since a peak in 2008, when the price was $0.38 per litre.
  • In 2015, the value of propane exports was $0.86 billion, a 48 per cent decrease from the 2014 value of $1.66 billion.
    • The value of propane exports decreased 65 per cent since a peak in 2008, when the value was $2.44 billion.

Butanes

  • In 2015, the average butane export price was $0.19 per litre, a 42 per cent decrease from the 2014 price of $0.32 per litre.
    • The price per exported litre of butane decreased 64 per cent since a peak in 2011, when the price was $0.51 per litre.
  • The value of butane exports in 2015 was $0.26 billion, a 34 per cent decrease from the 2014 value of $0.39 billion.
    • The value of butane exports decreased 63 per cent since a peak in 2008, when the value was $0.71 billion.

Figure 5: Historical Propane and Butanes Values and Prices

Figure 5: Historical Propane and Butanes Values and Prices

Sources:
Volume
NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query
Value and price
Calculated from the total reported values allocated by volume

Figure 6: Propane and Butanes Values and Prices by Month

Figure 6: Propane and Butanes Values and Prices by Month

Sources:
Volume
NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query
Value and price
Calculated from the total reported values allocated by volume

Other

Authorization Term

  • Since market deregulation in 1985, the vast majority of NEB-regulated NGLs were exported using the short-term export ordersFootnote 3, which do not limit the volumes exported from Canada.
  • No propane exports took place under licence in 2015.

Transport Mode

Propane and butanes are exported to the U.S. by railway, pipeline, or truck (Figures 7 and 8).

Since 2011, the volume of propane exported by:

  • pipeline decreased 50 per cent in total, or an average of 16 per cent each year
  • railway increased 101 per cent in total, or an average of 19 per cent each year
  • truck increased 15 per cent in total, or an average of four per cent each year

Figure 7: Propane Exports by Transport Mode

Figure 7: Propane Exports by Transport Mode

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Propane Export Volume by Mode of Transportation – Query

Since 2011, the volume of butanes exported by:

  • pipeline increased 115 per cent in total, or an average of 21 per cent each year
  • railway increased 2 per cent in total, or an average of 0.4 per cent each year
  • truck increased 567 per cent, or an average of 61 per cent each year

Figure 8: Butanes Exports by Transport Mode

Figure 8: Butanes Exports by Transport Mode

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 26 February 2016: Butanes Export Volume by Mode of Transportation – Query

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