Drop in crude oil prices likely to affect Mexico in 2019

The U.S. government has anticipated a drop in crude oil prices of nearly USD$11 per barrel next year

Drop in crude oil prices likely to affect Mexican economy in 2019
A drop of nearly 11 dollars in 2019 would place a Mexican crude oil barrels in a price range of between 51 and 52 dollars a piece - Photo: Henry Romero/Reuters
English 18/12/2018 19:10 Noé Cruz Serrano Mexico City Actualizada 08:31

There is a threat looming over economies all around the world regarding the export of crude oil in 2019. The United States Energy Department has predicted a drop in crude oil prices of nearly USD$11 per barrel next year.

The drop in oil prices among international markets, which was projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, was announced barely a few hours before the new government of Mexico presented their official budget for 2019, which anticipates stability in Mexican crude oil value for international exports.

On the other hand, analysts have considered that the merger of TV producers Disney and Fox should be subject to strict regulation in Mexico, since their operation could raise pay TV prices by up to 20% in 2019.

U.S. government analysts have estimated that the price of WTI Texas crude oil will drop from an average of USD$65.18 in 2018 to USD$54.19 next year, whereas Brent crude oil will go from USD$71.40 to USD$61.00.

Both types of oil are taken by the Mexican government and congress as reference to set crude oil prices for exports to foreign markets.

Until the month of October, Mexico had been selling crude oil at an average price of USD$62.83 per barrel. With said value and an average exports platform of 1.34 million barrels a day, the country gained USD$22.68 billion during the first 10 months of the year.

A drop of nearly 11 dollars in 2019 would place a Mexican crude oil barrels in a price range of between 51 and 52 dollars a piece, which represents a significant drop, even if the current sales volume is maintained.

On a positive note, the drop will bring relief to the 34 million of Mexicans who use motor vehicles regularly, since the U.S. government has suggested that average gas prices will be reduced from 2.73 to 2.50 dollars per gallon, impacting fixed exports prices.

U.S. gas consumers may gain a reduction of 8.4% in motor fuel prices by 2019, which could translate into Mexico’s motor fuel prices by a similar percentage, specially if the U.S. government’s energy projections materialize next year.

From January 1, 2017, when the fuel market in Mexico was liberalized, until October 31 of the present year, unleaded gas prices rose from MXN$16 to 19.38 per liter on average, representing a 21.12% increase.

As for premium gas, there was a 17.23% increase, rising from MXN$17.81 to 20.88 per liter, while diesel prices rose from MXN$17.07 to 20.54 per liter.

This drop in total expected gas prices in the U.S. –Mexico’s main gas importer- will break the upward trend that the country has maintained for the past 22 months.

Mexico is currently the favorite customer of U.S. refineries, which dedicate part of their production to foreign markets, since they only consume 60% of their gas production, the rest of which is exported to 38 different countries.

Last October, Mexico also bought fuel from the Netherlands, Korea, Singapore, China, and Great Britain.
 

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