I spoke too soon (US-Venezuela fuel trade, if you must know)

(Yes, I corrected spelling in the headline. Originally it was a secret message about my conversation partner, Mr. Soon.)

Remember how back in April I said that Venezuela was importing far less fuel from the US, indicating refineries were coming back on line? Yeah, no worries, I didn’t remember that either. Anyway, looks like I spoke too soon. A few more months go by, you see the trend is still that Venezuela is buying way too much US fuel.

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That’s total fuel exports from the US to Venezuela, through June, in thousands of barrels a day. After falling to just 7,000 for one month, the figure jumped right back up to pre-Amuay disaster levels and has stayed there. Why?

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Here’s the breakdown by fuel product, using 3-month rolling averages to make the chart readable. Yes, the finished motor gasoline part of the chart was responsible for the biggest surge after Amuay, and yes, it’s back down to manageable levels. But the other big new ones are that Venezuela continues to import a lot of liquefied petroleum gas (cooking fuel) and lots and lots of fuel oil. All of the fuel oil Venezuela is buying from the US is 500 to 2000 ppm sulfur. Highly polluting, that is. If you have some time to kill you can do the multiplication of price per barrel on each of these and figure out what Venezuela is spending on fuel imports. Enjoy!

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