Brazil oil exports rose 56 pct in August; gasoline output falls
By Jeb Blount and Marta Nogueira RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Brazil's crude oil exports rose by more than 50 percent in August compared with a year earlier and gasoline output fell by more than a fifth, the country's petroleum regulator ANP said, as the country adjusted to weaker domestic fuels demand. Crude oil exports rose 56.2 percent in August to 25.366 million barrels, the highest total since June's record high, compared with 16.239 million barrels in August 2014, the ANP said in data updated late on Friday. Exports in the month were 28.9 percent higher than in July. Imports fell 20.3 percent from a year earlier to 7.910 million barrels, the lowest since May, and were 4.41 percent lower than in July. Brazil's economy is in the midst of its worst downturn since the great world depression of the 1930's, a recession that has seen a plunge in industrial activity. Production of gasoline, which fell 22.4 percent to 12.560 million barrels compared with a year earlier and 9.81 percent compared with July, was also pressured by the fuel's declining competitiveness with hydrous ethanol in much of the country. After years of losses subsidizing gasoline imports needed to make up for the 15 refineries of state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA to meet domestic demand for gasoline and diesel, Petrobras, as the company is known, has declined to cut prices even as world crude and crude product prices fall. This has made hydrous ethanol, a type of pure sugar-cane ethanol sold at separate pumps at all Brazilian gasoline stations, competitive with Gasoline C, the standard Brazilian blend that contains 27 percent anhydrous ethanol. As the bulk of new cars sold for more than a decade have "flex-fuel" motors that can handle any combination of ethanol and gasoline, many drivers have switched to ethanol. As of the week of Sept. 12, hydrous ethanol was more competitive than gasoline in six of Brazil's 26 states. Those states, which include Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais, account for nearly half of Brazil's GDP and nearly 40 percent of its population. See below for a table of August ANP production, import-export and sales data for Brazilian crude oil and refined products. AUGUST 2015 BRAZILIAN CRUDE PROCESSING, FUEL PRODUCTION, FUEL IMPORTS AND EXPORTS IN MILLIONS OF BARRELS Item Aug July Aug %Change %Change 2015 2015 2014 Aug/Jul Aug/Aug Crude Production N/R N/R N/R N/R N/R Crude Exports 25.366 19.682 16.239 28.88% 56.20% Crude Imports 7.910 8.275 9.923 -4.41% -20.29% Crude Processed 62.717 64.281 66.916 -2.43% -6.28% Total Fuel 63.692 65.637 69.084 -2.98% -7.80% Production Gasoline A* 12.560 13.926 16.188 -9.81% -22,41% Diesel 27.156 26.855 26.405 1.12% 2.84% Total Fuel Sales 75.608 76.588 78.863 -1.16% -4.01% Gasoline C* 20.675 21.512 23.294 -3.89% -11.24% Diesel 31.546 31.206 33.657 1.09% -6.27% Hydrous Ethanol 9.893 9.749 6.674 1.48% 48.23% Total Fuel 3.929 13.216 14.687 -70.27% -73.25% Imports Gasoline A* 0.265 0.642 0.746 -58.75% -64.52% Diesel 0.182 5.679 3.568 -96,80% -94.91% Total Fuel 7.975 9.798 8.830 -18.61% -9.69% Exports Gasoline 0.728 0.933 0.317 -22.00% 124.35% Diesel 0.147 0.000 0.000 N/A N/A N/A = Not Applicable N/R = ANP has not yet released that number for the current month * = Gasoline A is a gasoline blend that contains no ethanol/Gasoline C contains 27 percent anhydrous ethanol (Writing by Jeb Blount; Editing by Grant McCool)
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