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Mexico's diesel supply sensitive to border delays


By Argus

Petroleumworld 04 04 2019

Delays at the US border as customs workers are shifted to immigration duty could disrupt Mexico's private-sector diesel imports, which largely come in by tank truck, one importer said.

"We have not seen any disruptions yet," chief executive Cesar Cadena with Mexican company Grupo Energeticos told Argus . "Much of the commercial load crossing to and from the US is pretty much automated. But if the operations continue with a low level of officials we will definitely be affected."

More than 750 US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the El Paso, Texas, crossing site were reassigned beginning 1 April to border patrol to "combat the growing security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border," according to a directive from the White House. The CBP could reassign as many as 2,000 officers.

The staff relocation has caused long lines at crossing sites already of up to eight hours, Mexico's national freight transport association (Canacar) said.

Mexico's private-sector diesel importers, who have said they mostly use truck or rail, imported 72,500 b/d in January, or about 24pc of the total 300,000 b/d of diesel imported that month. The rest was brought in by state-owned Pemex through waterborne shipments. Private-sector gasoline imports are a much smaller share of the country's total supply, at 56,500 b/d.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to shut down the US-Mexico border because of the issue of illegal immigration, but White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said today that the administration would explore ways of reducing economic impact if it came to that.

"One area we explored is trying to keep the freight lanes, truck lanes open ... that is possible, and that would help the supply chain issue," Kudlow said.

Acording to Canacar, commercial trucks made over 8.2mn crossings between Mexico and the US in 2017.

Truck-based trade between Mexico and the US was valued at $425bn in 2017.



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