Mexico continues to block Trafigura fuel imports

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Trafigura is one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading and logistics houses. They have built a global business on service and performance.

Trafigura has been prevented from bringing fuel to Mexico months after the lifting of import restrictions on the global commodities trader, federal court documents showed, underscoring the roadblocks that foreign energy companies continue to face.

The Geneva-based company in April convinced a federal court judge in Mexico City to lift the suspensions, according to documents from the second district court for administrative matters seen this month by Reuters, and in May the court formally ratified the decision.

Trafigura had those permits suspended last year after another commodities trader admitted to bribing officials in Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador. The suspension froze five Trafigura import permits covering hundreds of millions of liters of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel imports over 20 years.

The action came amid Mexican President Andres Lopez Obrador efforts to roll back the previous government’s oil industry reforms and grant more market power to state-run energy companies.

Amid the suspension, Lopez Obrador last year separately accused Trafigura of being involved in fuel smuggling in the country. Trafigura denied the accusation and no charges were brought.

The court’s release should have returned Trafigura’s access to the world’s fourth largest gasoline import market. Mexico spent $15 billion on fuel purchases last year, and has paid $14 billion so far this year amid higher prices, according to official data.

NEW HURDLES

Mexico’s energy and tax authorities, however, have remained opposed to allowing Trafigura to import fuel.

The state tax authority (SAT) removed Trafigura from a list of firms authorized to import oil products. Its decision, which came three days before the judge ratified his reinstatement of its import permits in May, raised a new hurdle.

Source: El Economista

Mexico Daily Post