Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. Image courtesy of PresidenciaMX 2012-2018/Wikimedia Commons.

Despite winning the right to import U.S. crude nearly a year ago, Mexico has reportedly yet to start receiving imports.

According to data seen by Bloomberg, Mexico has yet to import a single barrel of U.S. light crude about ten months after the U.S. Department of Commerce approved the exports.

Mexico’s Pemex had planned to blend U.S. light crude with domestically produced heavy crude in an effort to increase fuel and gasoline quality.

Pemex told Bloomberg that its has postponed importing U.S. crude because the move is not currently profitable.

The company added that it’s blending heavy crude with domestic light crude.

However, some analysts interviewed by Bloomberg suggested that Mexico’s downstream infrastructure is not up to the task of importing large amounts of U.S. crude.

 “The company is in a full-blown liquidity crisis, which means less and less money can be dedicated to refining and crude processing.” Managing Director of IPD Latin America John Padilla told Bloomberg.

The six refineries in Mexico are currently running at about 60 percent capacity and have suffered several dozen unplanned outages in the first quarter, Bloomberg said.

The U.S. Department of Commerce began approving U.S. crude exports to Mexico in late 2015, just months before the U.S. lifted its crude oil export embargo that had been in place since the 1970s.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Mexico received about 23,000   barrels per day of crude and petroleum products from the United States in May of this year.

While that figure was down from a high of about 27,000 barrels per day in April it was still well-above year ago levels.


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