Coronavirus Disrupts Latin American Oil Going to China

China has seen a large decrease in the demand of gasoline and Jet fuel stemming from the deadly outbreak of the Coronavirus and the subsequent travel restrictions. Chinese refineries have been responsible for taking a third of all Latin American produced crude. Brazil is the largest exporter of crude into China and mainly supply the independent Chinese refineries. The Coronavirus death toll has climbed to 170 and an addition 8,000 people are infected there is an obvious fear surrounding the virus. The fear of a global outbreak has led to OPEC announcement to move up their March meeting to attempt to help correct the oil market.

OPEC has been openly discussing the idea of extending their current production cuts.  Even with Libya seeing a sharp decrease in oil production of roughly 1 million barrels per day (bpd), the price of oil has been falling. The sharp decrease in demand is still more than the supply outages.

Petrobras, the Brazilian petroleum company, has suspended all employee travel to China to help prevent the spread of the virus. The company was also quick to state that they will continue the scheduled shipments to China.

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