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Mexico's non-Pemex gasoline imports rose 30pc



By Argus

Petroleumworld 02 27 2019

Mexico's gasoline imports by companies other than state-owned Pemex rose by 30pc in January from December to 56,500 b/d, according to the energy ministry's (Sener) monthly fuel markets update.

Private-sector gasoline imports represent a record-high 8.3pc of the total 676,600 b/d imported by the country in the first month of the year, an increase from the 7pc share in December. Private gasoline imports represented less than 1pc of total imports in January 2018.

Non-Pemex diesel imports also rose in the same month in which severe fuel shortages hit the central regions of the country, provoked by the government's decision to close theft-prone pipelines and switch delivery to less efficient trucks.

Private-sector diesel imports rose by 22pc to 72,500 b/d in January from December, according to the energy ministry data. They represented 24pc of the total 307,200 b/d imported into the country in the first month of the year, an increase from 20pc in December. Yet in September such diesel imports represented 26pc of the total, making January's 24pc the second-highest proportion.

In January 2018, private-sector volumes represented only 14pc of the total diesel imports, according to the same report.

The government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to increase Pemex's fuel production and decrease the country's dependency on imports from the US, but it also leaned on private imports recently to solve fuel supply problems that stemmed from its actions against fuel theft.

Private-sector diesel imports have been higher than those of gasoline since outside imports were allowed since 2016. Diesel has a single specification for the entire country and can be sold directly to industrial fleets.

Total gasoline imports Pemex's volumes plus outside imports rose by 9pc to 676,600 b/d in January from December, according to the monthly report . Total diesel imports increased by 5pc to 307,200 b/d from December.

This same report which lists tax office data as one source says Pemex's gasoline imports reached 620,100 b/d in January, up by 7pc from December, while Pemex's diesel imports increased by less than 1pc to 234,700 b/d.

Yet a different source state-run Pemex's monthly report shows that its gasoline imports were 143,700 b/d lower than in the energy ministry's monthly fuel market update. Pemex data show that its gasoline imports fell by 17pc to 476,400 b/d in January.

Pemex's own data on diesel imports shows that they fell by 27pc to 171,000 b/d in January, a difference of almost 64,000 b/d from the Sener monthly data.

In the case of gasoline, the two reports have typically shown different tallies. But this is the biggest difference and one of only two of more than 100,000 b/d in Argus' comparison of data since January 2018. Diesel reports have shown smaller differences, yet January was the first time in the comparison period that Sener and Pemex reports differed by more than 50,000 b/d.

Pemex has said that the import data varies between the two sources because of a difference in whether the date of import is recorded as the arrival of a shipment to Mexican territory or the date fuel is transferred into Pemex storage facilities. Some shippers noted longer-than-usual times to unload cargoes in Mexico during the fuel shortages of December and January, as storage terminals became full.

A third source of data, the energy ministry's online data tool , shows total gasoline imports including Pemex's and private companies' imports reached 654,000 b/d in January, closer to the monthly report. That represents a 9pc increase from December. Total diesel imports increased by 5pc to 297,000 b/d, according to this same online tool, that aims to emulate the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) website.

Data from the Sener online tool is preliminary and updated weekly. It showed on 12 February that Mexico's Pemex and non-Pemex gasoline imports fell by 14pc in January, to 519,000 b/d from December and were down by 12pc compared with January 2018.

Data at that time showed that 244,000 b/d of diesel was imported in January.



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