Brazil’s base oil production in April jumped more than 60% in comparison with the same month in 2020, larger than any year-on-year increase this year or in 2020.
The South American country’s base oil production – primarily API Group I – increased 65% to 38,700 metric tons in April, according to data released by the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, ANP.
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Sequentially, April was the second consecutive month the country reported higher base oil production in a month than in the year-earlier period. The last time that occurred was just before the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, when Brazil’s base oil production was up 33% in January at 54,000 tons and up 21% at 47,000 tons in February. The only other year-on-year production increase in 2020 occurred in September, when production was up 26% at 49,000 tons. From October through January, production was generally in the range of 40,000-45,000 tons per month, representing year-to-year decreases of 15%-25%.
Brazil imported 68,000 tons of base oil in April, a 19% decline from 84,000 tons in the same month in 2020. In both February, at 138,000 tons, and March, at 135,000 tons, Brazil’s base oil import volumes were up 200% from year-earlier totals. Most of the country’s base oil imports come from the United States, with the largest portion being API Group II.
The country’s base oil imports increased in 2020, with the largest spikes in volumes occurring during the second quarter and late last year. 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.