Mexico’s Pemex boosts crude shipments to Japan

Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex will increase crude exports to Japan in the coming months after selling several spot cargoes to customers including Cosmo Oil, JX Holdings and TonenGeneral, according to a company source and Thomson Reuters trade flows data.

Pemex typically sends around 1 million barrels per month of Maya crude to Cosmo Oil under a supply agreement, but the company recently negotiated additional deliveries, the source said.

The cargoes of Maya and Isthmus crudes will arrive in Japan from May through June after loading at Mexico’s Dos Bocas and Salina Cruz terminals, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Mexico’s crude exports have fallen in recent months amid declining oil output. Sales to the United States slightly decreased last month to some 710,000 barrels per day (bpd), but the country is eying Europe and Asia as new key markets.

As routes to Asia from Mexico are long, crude shipments must contain at least 1 million barrels to make the trip profitable. Several Suezmax tankers and very large crude carriers (VLCC) that can load up to 2 million barrels each have been booked to load in May and June with Japan as their destination.

The VLCC Ridgebury Purpose, chartered by JX Holdings, loaded a first parcel of Mexican crude at Dos Bocas port earlier this week and is now sailing to the Cayo Arcas terminal to load a second parcel, according to vessel tracking data.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga and Liz Hampton in Houston and Ana Isabel Martinez in Mexico City; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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