Brazilian liquids production rose m/m by 43 thousand b/d to 2.71 mb/d in April, higher y/y by 65 thousand b/d. Pre-salt output scaled a new high of 1.42 mb/d (+0.22 mb/d y/y) and made up 55% of total Brazilian crude output. Light/medium crudes accounted for 86% of total output, with heavy output at 14%. The latter is being driven by declines in the Campos, which averaged 12% in April and output logged an eighth straight m/m fall to 1.19 mb/d (-0.16 mb/d y/y). Pre-salt output was boosted by the return of FPSO Cidade de Dos Reis (+27 thousand b/d m/m) as well as the start-up of the 0.15 mb/d Búzios-1, which produced first oil on 20 April and has been flowing at an implied rate of 30 thousand b/d. The Mero EWT produced at an impressive rate of 36 thousand b/d from one well. In May, QGEP’s 35 thousand b/d Atlanta field also produced first oil, while the 0.1 mb/d Tararuga Verde system is expected to start-up by month-end. Still, we expect support from new capacity ramp-ups to be negated by a heavy maintenance schedule and on-going steep natural declines in the Campos, leaving 2018 output broadly flat y/y. The start-up of 0.8 mb/d of new capacity in 2019 should fuel y/y growth of 0.22 mb/d next year, however.
Brazilian oil demand rose by 0.11 mb/d y/y to 2.33 mb/d. Diesel led the increase, rising y/y by 0.1 mb/d to 0.97 mb/d. Gasoline demand was lower by 58 thousand b/d, offset by a 63 thousand b/d y/y rise in ethanol demand. The recent nine-day trucking strike likely significantly dented May demand. Refinery runs rose to a seven-month high of 1.81 mb/d, supported by a step-up in utilisation rates at Reduc, Repar and Rlam. Together with a plunge in imports, which fell to 73 thousand b/d, and exports climbing back to 1.1 mb/d, crude inventories drew by 6 mb in April.