Brazil’s base oil production in May increased 121%, compared to the same month in 2020, and was also up 19% from May 2019, which could suggest a trend toward pre-pandemic monthly production numbers.
The South American country’s base oil production – primarily API Group I – reached 58,000 metric tons in May, up from 26,000 tons in the same month in 2020 and up from 49,000 tons in May 2019, according to data released by the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels, ANP.
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Base oil production data for the first five months of the year also indicated a positive trend in returning to 2019 levels. Year-to-date through May, the country’s base oil production volume reached 228,000 tons, a 20% increase from 190,000 tons during the same period in 2020 and 3% ahead of 222,000 tons over that time frame in 2019.
In May, Brazil imported 64,000 tons of base oil, declining 3% from 66,000 tons in the same month in 2020 but 23% higher than 52,000 tons in May 2019. This represented the second consecutive month of lower base oil import volumes, after peaking at 138,000 tons in February and 135,000 tons in March.
Year-to-date through May, Brazil’s base oil imports totaled 487,000 tons. This was 74% more than 280,000 tons for the same five-month period in 2020, and 108% greater than 234,000 tons over the same period in 2019.
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.