Mexico's Pena Nieto leads election polls, may open up Pemex

29 June 2012 23:44  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Mexican presidential front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto goes into Sunday's election with a 17 point lead over his nearest rival, according to final polls.

El Universal, a national newspaper in Mexico, showed Pena Nieto, of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), rising 4.2 percentage points to 41.2% from a previous poll published on 18 June.

That gave him a 17.4 point lead over his nearest rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), who rose a 0.3 percentage point to 23.8%, the poll showed.

A key talking point in the run-up to this year’s election has been the future of state-owned oil and petrochemical company Pemex.

In an interview with the research and consultancy company Economist Intelligence Unit, Pena Nieto reiterated his plans to turn around falling output in petrochemicals and oil, centring on public-private partnerships.

"Private sector investment could really help explore the full potential of the energy industry," he told EIU.

“We have learned from errors in the past, and we need to understand that private-sector investment could really help to explore the full potential of the energy industry, as has happened in countries like Brazil and Colombia,” he said.

Although domestic petrochemical revenues for May stood at Mexican pesos (Ps) 3.17bn ($232m, €290m), flat compared to the same month last year, petrochemical output was down for the fifth month this year, Pemex said on Friday.

May petrochemical output stood at 933,000 tonnes, down almost 10% year-on-year, Pemex said.

Production of ethylene fell 4.63% to 103,000 tonnes while production of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fell 24% to 19,000 tonnes, the company said.

Pemex produced no benzene, styrene or toluene in May compared with 9,000 tonnes, 14,000 tonnes and 14,000 tonnes last year.

Production of other chemicals totalled 581,000 tonnes, down 14.1% from May 2011, the company said.

Pemex said that the CCR Platforming plant that produced benzene, styrene and toluene is undergoing maintenance until August.

The company did not give reasons for other production changes.

($1 = Ps13.66)
($1 = €0.80)

By: Simon West

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