2016 Propane and Butanes Exports Summary

The average price received for propane and butanesFootnote 1 exports increased in 2016. However, higher export volumes did not materialize in response to the increased prices. In general, increasing U.S. production reduced the need for Canadian propane and butanes in the U.S. For propane market information, refer to the Propane Market Review: 2016 Update – Energy Briefing Note on the NEB website.

Table 1: Export SummaryFootnote 2

Table 1: Export Summary
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Propane
Volume (m³) 5 730 813 5 817 426 5 250 255 6 524 563 6 653 663
Volume (bbl/d) 98 533 100 297 90 518 112 488 114 400
Price (¢/L) 21.62 23.86 31.57 13.18 14.76
Value ($) 1 238 831 116 1 388 072 652 1 657 678 350 859 790 965 981 750 038
Butanes
Volumes (m³) 1 432 666 1 086 331 1 216 684 1 408 202 1 080 347
Volume (bbl/d) 24 633 18 729 20 976 24 278 18 575
Price (¢/L) 38.53 31.47 32.14 18.51 20.00
Value ($) 551 945 764 341 861 762 391 069 850 260 687 748 216 071 611

Sources:
Volume: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 2 March 2017: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query
Value and price: NEB values and volume-weighted prices

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

Export Volumes

Exports of natural gas liquids (NGLs) are authorized under the National Energy Board’s (NEB) short-term orders or long-term licences. The data in this export summary is based on the initial point of export from Canada and does not consider final export destinations.Footnote 3 NGL export information is reported to the NEB at the points of exit from Canada, which generally fall along the international boundary between Canada and the U.S.

Propane

In 2016, the volume of propane exported from Canada increased 2% since 2015Footnote 4, from 6.5 million cubic meters (m³) (112.5 thousand barrels per day, or Mbbl/d) in 2015 to 6.7 million m³ (114.4 Mbbl/d).

Butanes

In 2016, the volume of butanes exported from Canada decreased 23%, from 1.4 million m³ (24.3 Mbbl/d) in 2015 to 1.1 million m³ (18.6 Mbbl/d).

Figure 1: Canadian Propane and Butanes Export Volumes

Figure 1: Canadian Propane and Butanes Export Volumes

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 2 March 2017: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query

 

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 2 March 2017: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query

 

Regional Exports

Propane

In 2016, over 38% of Canadian propane exports went to the U.S. Midwest (PADD II); 35% went to the U.S. West Coast (PADD V), a significant increase from previous years; over 20% went to the U.S. East Coast (PADD I); approximately 4% went to the U.S. Rockies (PADD IV); and approximately 2% went to the U.S. Gulf Coast (PADD III).

The Canadian propane exported to the U.S. changed by the following amounts between 2012 and 2016:

  • Exports to PADD II increased 16%, from 2.2 million m³ (37.8 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 2.5 million m³ (43.7 Mbbl/d) in 2016.
  • Exports to PADD V increased 195%, from 0.8 million m³ (13.5 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 2.3 million m³ (39.8 Mbbl/d).
  • Exports to PADD I decreased 44%, from 2.4 million m³ (41.6 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 1.4 million m³ (23.3 Mbbl/d).
  • Exports to PADD IV increased 13%, from 0.2 million m³ (4.3 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 0.3 million m³ (4.8 Mbbl/d).
  • Exports to PADD III, which is generally a self-sufficient and limited market, increased 98%, from 0.08 million m³ (1.4 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 0.2 million m³ (2.8 Mbbl/d).

Figure 3: Yearly Propane Export Volumes by Region

Figure 3: Yearly Propane Export Volumes by Region

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 2 March 2017: Propane Export Volume by PADD – Query

 

Butanes

In 2016, 49% of Canadian butanes exports went to PADD II; 29% went to PADD V; 16% went to PADD I; 5% went to PADD IV; and 1% went to PADD III.

The butanes exported from Canada to the U.S. changed by the following amounts between 2012 and 2016 (Figure 4):

  • Exports to PADD II decreased 32%, from approximately 0.8 million m³ (13.4 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 0.5 million m³ (9.1 Mbbl/d).
  • Exports to PADD I decreased 63%, from approximately 0.5 million m³ (8.4 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 0.2 million m³ (2.9 Mbbl/d).
  • Exports to PADD V increased 177%, from approximately 0.1 million m³ (2.0 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 0.3 million m³ (5.4 Mbbl/d).
  • Exports to PADD IV increased 31%, from approximately 0.04 million m³ (0.7 Mbbl/d) in 2012 to 0.05 million m³ (0.9 Mbbl/d).
  • Exports to PADD III, which, in general, is a self-sufficient and limited market, decreased 59%.

Figure 4: Yearly Butanes Export Volumes by Region

Figure 4: Yearly Butanes Export Volumes by Region

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 2 March 2017: Butanes Export Volume by PADD – Query

Propane and Butanes Values and Prices

Propane

  • Figure 5 shows that in 2016, the weighted-average propane export price increased 12%, from 13.18¢ per litre in 2015 to 14.76¢ per litre.
  • The value of propane exports increased 14% in 2016, from $0.86 billion in 2015 to $0.98 billion.

Butanes

  • In 2016, the weighted-average butanes export price increased 8%, from 18.51¢ per litre in 2015 to 20.00¢ per litre.
  • The value of butanes exports decreased 17% in 2016, from $0.26 billion in 2015 to $0.22 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 2 March 2017: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query
Value and price: NEB values and volume-weighted prices

Figure 6 shows the monthly export prices and values. Propane and butanes prices are impacted by NGL production, crude oil and natural gas prices, seasonal residential and agricultural demand, and petrochemical demand.

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 2 March 2017: Propane and Butanes Export Volume – Query
Value and price: NEB values and volume-weighted prices

Transport Mode

Propane and butanes are exported to the U.S. by railway, pipeline, or truck. In 2016, over 80% of exported NGLs were exported by rail. Figure 7 shows the export volumes by transport mode from 2012 to 2016:

  • Since 2012, pipeline exports of propane decreased 72%, and pipeline exports of butanes decreased 8%.
  • Railway exports of propane increased 59%, and railway exports of butanes decreased 34%.
  • Truck exports of propane increased 1%, and truck export of butanes increased 515%.

Figure 7: Propane and Butanes Exports by Transport Mode

Figure 7: Propane and Butanes Exports by Transport Mode

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 2 March 2017: Propane Export Volume by Mode of Transportation – Query

Date modified: