The COVID-19 pandemic has battered domestic base oil production in Brazil, but the large amount base oils that the country imports appear to have been not affected. Local production appears to be rebounding, according to recently released government data.
The nation’s base oil plants produced 40,000 metric tons of base stocks during October, according to the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, ANP. That was 15% less than in October of 2019, but monthly output has been catching up in relation to last year’s figures. In September the nation produced 49,000 tons of base oils, which was actually 25% more than the same month of 2019, and this year’s August output of 36,000 tons was just 20% less than August of 2019.
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From April through July, monthly output in 2020 ranged from 35% to 54% less than the corresponding months of 2019.
For the first 10 months of this year, domestic output was 342,000 tons, which was 29% less than the same period of last year.
Before the pandemic struck, Brazil had been importing amounts of base oil similar to what it produced. ANP has not yet published import figures for October, but for the first nine months of the year the country imported 492,000 tons of base oils, an increase of 2% year to year.
Most of the base oil that Brazil imports comes from the United States, and most of that is API Group II. Almost all of the base oil produced domestically is Group I.