Brazil’s base oil production – mainly API Group I – increased by 5% in April, while imports dropped by almost 30%, and year-to-date imports were less than half the volume in the same period last year, according to data released last week by a government agency.
Production rose to 46,000 metric tons in April, compared with 44,000 tons in the same month last year, the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels reported. Sequentially, April’s total was up 5% from March’s production volume.
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For the first four months of 2022, Brazil’s base oil production decreased 5% to 174,000 tons, down from 184,000 tons in the same period last year.
The country imported 50,000 tons of base oil in April, falling 26% from 68,000 tons a year earlier. Sequentially, April’s imports were down 25% from 67,000 tons in March.
The 207,000 tons imported through April this year was a 51% drop from 423,000 tons in the first four months of last year.
Brazil imports most of its base oil – primarily API Group II – from producers in the United States. For most of this year, Brazil’s monthly base oil production and import volumes were similar – aside from when imports ballooned to 67,000 tons in March, the highest this year – to the country’s trend in such monthly volumes before the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic started, domestic production declined for much of 2020 and 2021, and import volumes increased before hitting a sharp year-on-year decline in December last year.