Mexican state oil firm Pemex reports $23 bn loss in 2020

Mexico City (AFP) –

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Mexican state energy giant Pemex on Friday reported a loss of around $23 billion in 2020 as it grappled with a slump in oil demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it had faced "the worst crisis in its history" last year due to the health crisis sweeping the planet.

It blamed "the unprecedented combination of low prices for crude oil and petroleum products" and "a steep fall in fuel consumption that eroded the cash flows of all oil companies."

Pemex announced an annual loss of 481.0 billion pesos, an increase of 38 percent compared with 2019, despite returning to profit in the second half of the year.

For the fourth quarter of 2020, the group posted a profit of 124.2 billion pesos ($5.9 billion), compared with a loss of 171.5 billion pesos in the same period of the previous year.

Pemex, which returned to the black in the three months to September, said it was the first time in more than four years that it had posted two consecutive quarterly profits.

Leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has sought to help the firm regain its footing with a series of cash injections and other measures following years of declining production.