Fuel smuggling in the Mexican market

The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) took stock of the fight against fuel smuggling in Mexico at the end of 2021.

As of 2012, a structural change was observed in the fuel market, since there was a decrease in the legal sale of fuels compared to what was projected by economic growth.

According to the 2019 Petroleum Statistical Handbook, published by the Ministry of Energy, the estimated real demand for 2021 would be 1.3 million barrels per day; that is, 477.7 million barrels during the entire period.

However, the legitimate supply of fuel, made up of Pemex production and imports, reached 375.7 million barrels.

In other words, the volume of contraband is estimated at up to 102 million barrels for 2021; equivalent to 27% of legitimate fuel sales; and 41% of legitimate fuel imports.

Between 2018 and 2021, the estimated contraband of fuels increased by 122.7%, going from 45.8 million barrels to 102 per year.

In 2020, a temporary decrease was observed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But without the effect of this, it is estimated at 89.6 million barrels.

Fuel smuggling

Since 2020, an increase in imports of lubricants has been observed, without any support in economic activity.

These products are not subject to the payment of IEPS, so they are used as a means of evasion to introduce hydrocarbons through land customs.

In 2021, the collection of oil IEPS made in customs, was reduced by 58,078 million pesos compared to the same period of the previous year.

The main fall occurred in the maritime customs, which managed to be contained with the change of command to the customs.

The foregoing caused the illegal introduction of fuels to modify the logistics of admission to land customs through tankers, initially and currently through tank trucks, the main means of transporting lubricants.

Mexico is one of the largest oil producers in the world (1.9 million barrels per day produced in 2020) and the fourth in America after the United States, Canada and Brazil.

In 2020, Mexico ranked 13th in the world in crude oil production, 21st in crude oil reserves, 16th in refining capacity, and 5th in logistics infrastructure.


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