Brazil Base Oil Output Fell in February

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Brazil Base Oil Output Fell in February

Brazil’s production of base oil – mostly API Group I – dropped 15% in February, and imports were down by more than two-thirds, according to data released by a government agency. This resulted in nearly identical production and export volumes for the month, matching a general trend before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Production declined to 44,000 metric tons in February, down from 52,000 tons in February of 2021 and 10% lower than 49,000 tons in the same month in 2020, according to the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. Sequentially, February’s total was down 10% from January’s production.

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Year-to-date through February, Brazil’s base oil production totaled 93,000 tons, unchanged from the same period last year.

The South American country imported 44,000 tons of base oil in February, a 68% drop from 138,000 tons imported in the same month last year. February and March, at 135,000 tons, were by far the highest monthly base oil import volumes recorded by the country in 2021.

The 90,000 tons of base oil imported through February was down 59% from 220,000 tons in the first two months of last year.

Most of Brazil’s base oil imports originate in the United States, and most of that volume is API Group II.  In 2021, Brazil imported 998,000 tons of base oil, a 30% jump from 2020..  The highest monthly totals exceeded 134,000 tons in February and March. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Brazil’s base oil import volumes tended to be in the vicinity of domestic production numbers. While domestic output dropped during 2020 – falling below 30,000 tons per month from April through July – imports rose, peaking at 129,000 tons in November 2020. This trend continued through much of 2021, with import volumes topping 130,000 tons in February and March, then exceeding 90,000 tons in September, October and November. However, import volumes then dropped steeply to less than 30,000 tons in December.