Complying with President Jose Biden's administration sanctions on Russia, United States refiners imported some 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of Latin American crude and fuel oil, the highest level in seven months, according to US customs data.
In March US banned imports of Russian crude and refined products due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, setting April 22 as the final date for this kind of purchase. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged companies to adopt “friendly” supply chains or buy from trusted countries.
Imports of Latin American fuel oil averaged 200,000 bpd in March and April, 49% up from the previous 12 months. Mexico’s share of US fuel oil imports rose to 27% in March and April, from 19% a year earlier.
Nearly 15 vessels offloaded 159,000 bpd of Mexican fuel oil in Louisiana, California, Texas, and Florida, supplying Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, and Marathon Petroleum Corp, among others.
Russia supplied about 135,000 bpd, or 5.5% of total US oil imports last year, and 155,350 bpd, or 29%, of fuel oil imports, according to customs data from Refinitiv Eikon.
In April, US oil imports from Latin America also rose to 1.34 million bpd, the highest level in six months. Purchases from Argentina hit a four-year high, while imports from Colombia hit their highest level since September 2020.
Cargoes of sweet Medanito oil from Argentina arrived at Valero Energy Corp’s Benicia refinery in California and Phillips 66’s Ferndale refinery in Washington. About 1 million barrels of Argentina’s Escalante oil were also offloaded at Par Hawaii Refining’s Honolulu plant.
About 1.8 million barrels of Colombian crude were supplied to processors, including PBF Energy Inc’s Delaware City refineries and Valero’s St Charles refineries.