Mexico state strikes deal with Texas fuel exporters

Private-sector fuel distributors will replace state-owned Pemex as the supplier for about 17pc of retail fuel stations in Guanajuato, Mexico, after the state government reached a deal with gasoline and diesel exporters in Texas, governor Diego Sinhue said.

About 100 retail fuel stations in the state will no longer depend on Pemex for supplies, an increase from about 23 independent stations. Guanajuato consumes roughly 40,000 b/d of fuels and was one of the areas most affected by the severe fuel shortage crisis that stemmed from the federal government's decision to close theft-prone fuel pipelines and switch deliveries to slower tank trucks.

Sinhue travelled to Houston, Texas, on 14 January to negotiate import deals with US companies. He did not provide details of volumes or companies involved. "We created a link between private-sector entities after a visit to the state of Texas so companies could buy gasoline," Sinhue said.

The state has mostly overcome the fuel shortages, with supply now meeting 80pc of the demand. That's an improvement from the height of the shortages, when only 10pc of the state's 600 retail stations had fuel between 4-7 January. The fuel shortage between mid-December and end January caused Ps15bn ($778mn) in economic losses in Guanajuato alone, according to the state government.

Guanajuato state officials will seek tax incentives for citizens from the federal government to reimburse part of the losses, Sinhue said. Limited shortages have persisted in other states. Regional retail fuel station owners' association Amegas said today that retail fuel stations continue to close intermittently in Aguascalientes state, and premium gasoline is especially scarce.

Yet President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said today that fuel supply is normal nationwide. The government is set to provide a full report on the situation on 21 February, two months after intensive anti-fuel tactics began.