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Falling exports of Mexico's Olmeca crude puzzles buyers

Falling exports of Mexico's Olmeca crude puzzles buyers

HOUSTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Reduced exports of Mexico’s lightest crude oil grade, Olmeca, is worrying regular buyers from Europe to the United States who are accustomed to a steady supply of Mexican oil and now are searching for cargos elsewhere, traders said.

Mexico did not export Olmeca in September, according to the most recent data available from state-run oil company Pemex. That’s the third month this year Mexico has not exported this grade, following no shipments in May and June.

The fluctuation in sales has caused exports of Olmeca to drop to 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) so far this year, while the country has slowed crude output in recent months due to lack of storage capacity. Mexico exported 108,000 bpd of Olmeca last year.

“Pemex has been using a larger volume of this grade to make other exportable blends,” one of the traders said.

A source at Pemex confirmed no exports of Olmeca were made in September. “But we increased exports of Isthmus crude,” he said. He declined to elaborate on the reasons for the decline.

Regular buyers of Mexico’s light oil in Europe have been unsuccessfully looking for supplies, traders said. The last time a cargo of Olmeca reached Europe was in August, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data.

Continued: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexic ... SKBN1DD2OB