For the first time, the United States’ top export this year will be fuel.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the country is on pace to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other export. It will be the first time in more than 60 years that the United States has been a net exporter of these fuels.
For the last five years, the top U.S. export has been aircraft.
U.S. fuel exports are rising because the country is using less fuel due to the weak economy and more efficient vehicles, which allows for refineries to sell more fuel to growing economies.
Refiners in the U.S. exported 443 million liters per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products in 2011. That is up from 151 million liters per day one decade earlier.
But even with the change, the United States is nowhere near to being energy independent, as it is still the world’s largest importer of crude oil.