The extent to which U.S. distillate exports will continue to grow depends
The extent to which U.S. distillate exports will continue to grow depends on several factors, perhaps the most important of which is the pace of global refinery capacity expansions. About two-thirds of U.S. distillate exports during the first nine months of 2013 were to Central and South America and Mexico. That share is similar to the same period in 2007, as these regions have been short of distillate fuel. If refinery capacity expands as planned over the next several years, either in Latin America or in other regions such as the Middle East, U.S. refiners could face increasing competition in distillate export markets.
However, in the short term, the competitive advantages of Gulf Coast refiners should continue to support their current strong position within the global market.