Mexico City — Diesel and gasoline demand continue to recover in Mexico as business and industrial activity gradually resumes, data from the energy secretariat (SENER) showed Aug. 7. However, growing cases of coronavirus in the country, keeping people home, are anchoring sales roughly 100,000 b/d below 2019 levels.
Gasoline sales inched up to 678,000 b/d on the week ended July 17. Although the figure is still 12% below the 772,000 b/d registered the same week in 2019, it was up 6.6% from the previous week, and up 58% from April, when sales hit their lowest level due to the pandemic.
Diesel sales were 297,860 b/d for the week ended July 17, up 26.3% from the April lows, but still 127,820 b/d below the same week in 2019, the data showed.
Mexicans are slowly resuming their activities at business centers, according to data by Google´s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report, and industrial activity has mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels. In July, car manufacturing in Mexico showed an 80% recovery when compared to April, its lowest level in the year, Citibanamex, the Mexico unit of US financial group Citi, said Aug. 7 in an economic report.
"This level of production is even 0.7% higher than that in July 2019, but still inferior to that reached at the beginning of the year," Citibanamex said.
Gasoline imports reached their highest level since the pandemic began, SENER data showed, as Mexico´s production fell to its lowest level since early 2019.
Imports by state-owned Pemex and private companies increased to 493,000 b/d on the week ended July 17, the data showed. Meanwhile, production fell to 149,000 b/d as Cadereyta, one of the main refineries in Mexico, went offline after a reported fire.
Kpler vessel tracking data software shows Mexican imports of refined products climbed in July to 17.64 million barrels, from 12.11 million barrels in June. The bulk of those imports were gasoline. For August, Kpler data shows 14.95 million barrels of refined products due to arrive.