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Latin America’s Crude Exports Drop In August

Exports of crude oil and condensates from Latin America, excluding Venezuela, have fallen so far in August compared to high levels in July, as more crude is being used by domestic refineries, especially in Brazil, energy analytics firm Vortexa said in an analysis on Tuesday. 

During the first half of August, crude and condensate exports of the Latin American oil producers fell to an average of 3.1 million barrels per day (bpd), sharply down from 3.8 million bpd seen in July, Rohit Rathod, Senior Oil Market Analyst at Vortexa, writes. 

Most of the decline so far this month has been driven by lower exports from Brazil, which has been diverting more crude to its refineries amid still strong refining margins. Brazil’s crude exports so far this month have slumped to 760,000 bpd, compared to 1.2 million bpd last month, Rathod notes. 

Mexico and Colombia also saw their exports fall, albeit to a smaller extent, while Guyana and Argentina were the only Latin American oil producers to raise crude and condensate exports so far this month. 

Guyana’s exports “have been increasing steadily over the first half of 2022 as ExxonMobil processed more and more Liza and Unity Gold crudes at their refineries in the US and Europe,” Vortexa said. 

Mexico is expected to boost its crude exports for the rest of August as U.S. refiners are set to keep utilization high before the maintenance in the autumn. Renewed interest from Indian buyers is also set to help Mexico lift its crude exports in August, according to Vortexa. 

Although Latin American producers have boosted exports to Europe, the bulk of their crude continues to go to the United States. Crude exports to the U.S. averaged 1.4 million bpd in the first half of August, slightly down from the 1.5 million bpd high in July. Exports to Europe rose by 160,000 bpd from July to reach 730,000 bpd so far in August, Vortexa’s analysis showed.  

By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com

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