The US exported a record 596,000 tons of ethane in March, 2021, volume YTD of 1.6 million tons up 23%. The US Energy Information Agency forecasts higher shipments to come.
Ethane production in the US has risen steadily to meet the needs of the US petrochemical industry for feedstock for ethylene crackers, according to the EIA in their May 21, 2021 publication: “Today in Energy”. The three new crackers to be started up by 2022 by Baystar, Gulf Coast Growth Ventures and Shell Chemical Appalachia will add to the domestic demand.
US exports of ethane began in 2014 and are expected to rise as new petrochemical plants come on stream abroad, particularly in China. Through March 2021, India was the top US export destination for ethane, followed by China, both with large percentage increases.
From International Trader Publications database of ethane trade statistics.