Mexico's Pemex narrows losses in second quarter, but debt rises

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) reduced losses during the second quarter even as crude prices fell during the coronavirus pandemic, the national oil company said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Mexican oil company Pemex is pictured at Reynosa refinery, in Tamaulipas state, Mexico February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

The 44.3 billion peso ($1.9 billion) net loss during the April-to-June period was over 16% lower than the nearly 53 billion pesos Pemex lost in the same period last year, the company said in a filing to the stock exchange.

“As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sudden paralysis of commercial activities in large parts of both the national and the international economy,” Pemex said.

Pemex also said its tax bill fell 77%.

Revenue during the quarter slipped to some 182 billion pesos from 377 billion pesos during the same period last year.

While production of crude oil and condensates was flat at 1.673 million barrels per day (bpd), prices for Mexico’s crude export mix averaged about $24 per barrel during the quarter, or about 60% less than during the same period in 2019.

During the quarter, Pemex’s financial debt rose nearly $2.4 billion to $107.2 billion, one of the largest of any oil company worldwide.

Yields on eight of the 14 most frequently traded Pemex bonds narrowed on Tuesday, data from MarketAxess showed, particularly bonds due in September 2047 and January 2029.

Pemex lost its coveted investment grade rating earlier this year and is on a 15-year streak of declining crude output that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledged to reverse.

In the first quarter, Pemex posted a nearly $24 billion (562 billion peso) loss on massive foreign exchange losses as well as falling oil prices and demand in the pandemic.

That loss was one of the worst in history, but it mostly reflected accounting of a beat-up peso.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Adriana Barrera; Additional reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Dave Graham and Cynthia Osterman