Mexican total liquids production fell in March by 10 thousand m/m and by 0.18 mb/d y/y. Crude output was down m/m by 10 thousand b/d to 1.69 mb/d as heavy production stabilised at 1.1 mb/d with production at Ku and Maloob fields rising modestly m/m. However, as discussed in E-mail alert: 15 April 2019, maintaining output at Maloob and Zaap (65% of Mexican heavy output combined) will be challenging given depletion rates at both fields are high. Pemex is trying to allay such fears by accelerating drilling activity and plans to drill 116 wells across 20 fields, but we still do not see an improvement in Mexican supply anytime soon, especially as Pemex has only submitted and received approval for four of those 20 fields. Pemex revised lower its 2019 crude output target to 1.72 mb/d. The outlook for Mexico’s lighter fields is little better, with the Litoral de Tabasco fields (API>31.1), led by Xanab, showing y/y declines of 0.14 mb/d in March.
Crude exports in March fell y/y by 26 thousand b/d and m/m by 0.33 mb/d to 1.15 mb/d, largely driven by exports to the Far East decreasing m/m by 0.26 mb/d to 0.24 mb/d. Refinery runs grew m/m by 43 thousand b/d to 0.63 mb/d. Oil demand was flat y/y at 1.7 mb/d, with fuel oil demand falling by 24 thousand b/d and diesel demand rising by 22 thousand b/d. Delays of up to 15 hours at the US-Mexico border in early March, as Trump prioritised border patrol over customs, reduced product volumes brought in by independent importers (responsible for 15% of gasoline and 35% of diesel imports), resulting in net product imports dropping by 30 thousand b/d m/m to 1.1 mb/d. However, net imports rose y/y as Mexico tries to rebuild product inventories while compensating for an 80 thousand b/d y/y drop in production of refined products.