PEMEX Crude Exports Hit New Low in 2022 Despite Record Revenue
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PEMEX Crude Exports Hit New Low in 2022 Despite Record Revenue

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Perla Velasco By Perla Velasco | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Mon, 01/30/2023 - 17:02

PEMEX experienced a 6.3% drop in crude oil exports in 2022, reaching a new low of 953Mb/d. and marking the first time that the exports fell below 1MMb/d. However, driven by President López Obrador’s refining strategy, the NOC initially planned to export much less. The relatively low reduction in exports was also incentivized by high oil prices, which led to record revenues despite a drop in production.

High global oil prices allowed the NOC to attain its highest export revenues since 2014 and its highest value for imports of derivatives in its history. The Mexican mix reached prices above US$100/b during some weeks of 2022, leading to a record level of US$31.08 billion in export revenues, a 27% increase from 2021.

The high oil prices were a result of global uncertainty caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This caused the Mexican export mix to close the year with an average price of US$88.9/b, 36% higher than the US$65.78//b in 2021 and US$53.11/b higher than the average price for 2020. Nevertheless, oil prices finally descended towards the end of 2022.

In late 2022, Russia announced a cut to its production due to international sanctions and restrictions that sought to put pressure on the country. While this slightly increased the price of oil, China’s COVID-19 lockdown measures kept dragging the cost down. Despite the lift of some Chinese restrictions and potentially higher demand during winter, the downward trend persisted since indications of a recession kept oil futures volatile. Furthermore, oil leaks caused shockwaves in prices not seen since 2021. By the beginning of 2023, oil prices have further decreased due to interest rate rises by the central banks and tension with Middle Eastern countries.

Despite the high export revenues, PEMEX's imports of petroleum products, petrochemicals, and natural gas amounted to US$37.785 billion, a 95% increase compared to the previous year and the largest expenditure in the state company’s history in this area. The value of foreign purchases for petroleum products alone was US$34.71 billion, a two-fold year-over-year increase and the highest ever recorded for the company. The value of petrochemical imports increased by 94% throughout the year to US$1.714 billion.

The volume of oil imports rose by 32% to 739Mb/d. The average volume of gasoline imports was 419.4Mb/d, a 23% increase compared to 2021, and diesel imports averaged 174.1Mb/d, a 70% increase from the previous year.

According to Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Mexico’s coveted energy self-sufficiency has decreased. Regarding the value of hydrocarbon trade flows, the energy trade deficit grew from US$21.4 billion in 2019 to US$24.6 billion in 2021. By the first eight months of 2022, the negative trade balance amounted to US$24.5 billion.

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