Seeking Alpha reports (Andy Sutton) that data from the Census Bureau and from the EIA (Energy Information Agency) for oil imports in October are at odds. According to the Census, oil imports declined $2.1 billion from September to October. According to the EIA they increased $1.1 billion. GEI analysis of the October Trade Report from the Census found the increase in exports to be the most remarkable aspect of the numbers. However, if the EIA numbers are correct, the Census has an error, reporting imports too low by $3.2 billion. The reported decrease in imports, $0.9 billion, would become an increase of $2.3 billion. This would almost cut in half the reported $5.5 billion overall decline in the balance of trade deficit from September to October.
The GEI conclusion that the record high in exports was the most important take-away from the Census report is still valid. However, relative small change in the trade deficit, if the EIA data is correct, would also be an important fact.