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Mexican oil exports to U.S. market at lowest levels since 1993
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) May 28, 2013

'Sluggish' economic performance to blame for low oil demand from China
Houston (UPI) May 28, 2013 - Chinese oil demand in April declined nearly a full percentage point from March because of lackluster industrial activity, the Platts energy news service said.

Platts used government data to show apparent oil demand, a measure of crude oil at domestic refineries plus net imports, rose in April by 1.4 percent year-on-year to 9.75 million barrels per day. The year-on-year increase for April was 0.5 percent higher than reported for March, though on a monthly basis, apparent oil demand in April declined 0.7 percent from the previous month.

Song Yen Ling, a senior writer for China for the energy news service, said in a statement Tuesday the decline was in part because of a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

"On a year-over-year basis, China's oil products imports have been significantly lower since the second half of 2013 as demand growth remains sluggish amid stagnant economic recovery," she said.

The World Bank said growth in China's gross domestic product averaged about 10 percent a year since the government embraced a market-based economy in the late 1970s, though it will be a significant challenge to sustain that level of growth.

Since the beginning of the year, Platts reported China's apparent oil demand was "essentially flat."

Though it's still the third-largest source of foreign crude, imports from Mexico are at their lowest levels in a decade, the U.S. Energy Department said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said the United States imported 850,000 barrels of oil per day from Mexico last year, the lowest level since 1993.

The trend has developed in part as a result of increased production from shale reserves areas in the United States. Coupled with declines in Mexican oil production and exports to the United States are down 47 percent from 1993, EIA said.

On the other hand, increased U.S. oil production means exports of petroleum products to the Mexican market have increased 152 percent in the same period and most of that has been in the form of motor gasoline.

The Mexican government in December enacted legislation that ends the 75-year monopoly for state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos in an effort to erase a legacy of declining oil production.

EIA in its country profile for Mexico says it has 10 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and is one of the 10 largest producers in the world.


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