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World’s Biggest Oil Hedge May Not Happen After All

Mexico City

Despite its track record for turning a sizable profit from its super-secret oil hedge, Mexico may not go through with its massive hedge this year, according to Mexico’s Deputy Finance Minister Gabriel Yorio, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. All indications thus far have been that the hedge will indeed go through as is the norm.

The highly anticipated hedge is Wall Street’s largest oil deal, but this year things are looking different. The super secret formula for establishing the hedge was finalized back in July, and the world has been waiting ever since for confirmation that the hedge was finalized.

It has not been, Yorio said, his first announcement since he was confirmed as the new deputy minister on Tuesday. 

 “We’re evaluating it. And if we succeed at doing it, or if we do it, we’ll communicate that at the end,” Yorio said, implying that the deal may not go through at all. Mexico typically spends $1 billion on the option to sell its oil at a predetermined price.

According to Yorio, “it’s a markets issue” that he was unwilling to discuss. Mexico’s hedge is usually announced by this time of year.

Last year, Mexico spent $1.23 billion to protect its 2019 revenues, locking in a fixed price of $55 per barrel. In 2015 and 2016 when oil prices tanked, Mexico did well, profiting billions of dollars from oil sales that it would otherwise not have received by negotiating up front pricing that turned out to be significantly higher than the actual market price. Mexico keeps the details of its oil hedge a complete mystery, maximizing its leverage in order to maximize these profits.

The oil market has been particularly volatile this year, even more so than usual, making Mexico’s decision even more difficult than usual.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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