In volume, the external purchase decreased 13.5% and the international spot price decreased 10%; Analysts of the sector attribute the effect to that the prices that were agreed upon in advance under contract were higher.
Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) imported in May a volume 13.5% lower than the annual rate and, however, the value of these imports rose by 10.1% in the same period, totaling 1,646 million dollars, as reported by the Bank of Mexico. This, despite the fact that the spot price of these fuels also had a decrease in this period of 10 percent.
The aforementioned is explained by the contractual agreements for these imports carried out by the commercializing company Petróleos Mexicanos Internacional (PMI), which may well have been made in the long term or based on previous prices, after April was the month with prices highest spot in the last seven months. However, it could also be caused because refiners grant volume discounts that, when reduced, increase the final cost of purchases, according to specialists.
In May, for the third consecutive month, the value of purchases of gasoline increased, which in the annual comparison increased by 10% compared to May 2018. However, the monthly increase of just 1.6% is lower compared to the increases that had the previous two months: of 31 and 17% in March and April, respectively.
But according to Pemex’s import report (which is still responsible for more than 90% of fuel imports in the country), the volume of these purchases fell by 14.7% in one month, reaching 483,101 barrels per day in May.
In addition, the spot price of the Texas market, which Pemex takes as a reference, fell for the first time since January, standing at 1.88 dollars per gallon. This represents a drop of 6.6% in one month, after April was the month with the highest average price in the last seven months: of $ 2,006 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration of the neighboring country to the north.
According to Gonzalo Monroy, director of the GMEC consultancy, the difference in the performance of the indicators can be explained because PMI does not make purchases in the spot market, which has lower periodicities for price references (daily or weekly), but pacts prices contracts based on future estimates, which occurs regularly in markets as liquid as fuels.
PMI could also have negotiated some contracts with refiners since the start of the year, explained Mercury consultancy analyst Arturo Carranza, which may be beneficial at some times and in others to hurt the buyer in terms of prices, depending on how they move. supply and demand in the United States. “It is an unusual situation that the components are not in tune, but PMI has a lot of experience in these transactions and even to evaluate the balances in a longer term can define the economic impact of their activities,” he said.
However, as the Caraiva y Asociados analyst Ramsés Pech explained, the phenomenon may have a more conjunctural explanation: contracts between refiners and buyers are negotiated with volume discounts and, when importing less, Pemex may be losing these prerogatives and receiving higher prices, or even penalties for reducing the agreed volumes. To this can be added the uncertainty that Pemex as a buyer is generating among the refiners.
“The markets know that Pemex is planning to build a refinery, increase the domestic production of fuels and reduce external purchases, it makes sense that they seek to protect themselves and get the most out while these purchases continue,” he said.
Although for the first time in three months the value of exports of crude oil increased, which in May amounted to 2,314 million dollars with a monthly increase of 22.3%, the balance of foreign trade balance of petroleum products remained negative by 1,934 million dollars, which implied an improvement of 7.1% or 147 million dollars.
In the accumulated of the first five months of the year, have been disbursed 7,011 million dollars for import of gasoline, representing an increase of 3% in contrast to the same period of the previous year. The value of crude exports has added 10,389 million dollars in the first five months of the year, with a fall of 5.3% compared to the same period of 2018, with which the negative trade balance already adds up to 8,753 million dollars, as it deepened by 9.7%, or 774 million additional dollars at the same time last year.
Source: el economista, diario morelos
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