Market Snapshot: Canadian propane exports to Mexico leap eight-fold in 2017

Release date: 2018-04-18

The value of Canada’s propane exports to Mexico totaled $204.7 million in 2017, an increase of nearly eight times from the $25.4 million exported in 2016. While these propane exports represent a small fraction of Canada’s total propane exports in 2017, the growth in recent years has been substantial.Footnote 1 The volume of propane exported from Canada to Mexico grew from zero in 2014 to 583 million litres in 2017. The majority of exported propane goes through the U.S., where it can change ownership before continuing to Mexico.

In recent years, western Canada has been oversupplied with propane, resulting in low prices at the Edmonton hub.Footnote 2 Low Edmonton prices made western Canadian propane increasingly attractive for buyers in the U.S. and prompted more volumes moving into Mexico. Increased propane exports from Canada to Mexico were also facilitated by increased western Canadian propane production, the easing of Mexico’s energy import restrictions, and new rail loading capacity in western Canada.Footnote 3

Source and Description

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database Table 980-0027

Description: This bar chart shows export volumes of propane from Canada to Mexico in millions of litres. The overlaid line chart shows value of the propane exports in millions of Canadian dollars. This graph includes propane volumes exported from Canada to Mexico via the U.S. The volume of propane exported to Mexico was 22 million litres in 2015 and 583 million litres in 2017. The value of propane exported to Mexico was $12.0 million in 2015 and $204.7 million in 2017. Before 2015, the volume and value of exports were zero.

In previous years, Mexican companies had to import propane through the state-owned petroleum company, Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). As of January 2016, private companies began importing their own propane. In addition to the lifting of import restrictions, Mexico moved away from regulated propane prices towards market-based wholesale prices throughout 2017. Canadian propane exports to Mexico may continue to increase in the future since Mexico’s domestic per capita consumption of propane is among the highest in the world, while Mexico’s domestic propane production is declining.

Date modified: