September base oil production in Brazil was 22% higher than the same month of last year and was up even more from pre-COVID-19 levels. Despite the increased production, base oil import volume was also much higher for September, compared to the same month in each of the last two years.
The South American country’s base oil production – primarily API Group I – reached 60,000 tons in September, up from 49,000 tons in the same month of 2020 and higher than 39,000 tons in September 2019, according to data released by the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels.
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Sequentially, the September total this year was up 13% from 53,000 tons in August. The 60,000 tons produced in September matched this year’s previous monthly high of 60,000 tons in July. The lowest monthly production mark of 39,000 tons occurred in April.
For the third quarter, Brazil’s base oil volume totaled 173,000 metric tons, up 26% from 137,000 tons in the same period last year and 15% higher than 151,000 tons in 2019’s third quarter.
Brazil’s base oil import volume grew 33% to 93,000 tons in September, compared with 70,000 tons in September last year and was up 45% from 64,000 tons in the same month in 2019. The September total was the third highest for a month this year, trailing only the high marks of 138,000 tons in February and 135,000 tons in March.
The country’s base oil imports for the quarter reached 244,000 tons, 55% higher than 157,000 tons in the same period last year and a 43% increase from 171,000 tons in 2019’s third quarter. Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Brazil’s volumes of imported base oil were similar to the amount it produced, but imports rose as domestic output dropped during 2020.