Published on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | Updated on Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Document number 19/09

Mexico | The gasoline shortage crisis: A Big Data analysis

An analysis of the POS operations in gas stations in the Valle de Mexico metro-area are analyzed by day and hour. The crisis began at noon on Tuesday January 8, lasted 13 days, ended on January 20, 16% more gasoline was loaded per operation, and the purchase was increased up to 400% at late night and in the early morning.

Key points

  • Key points:
  • The strategy of the new government in Mexico to combat the theft of gasoline led to a temporary shortage, which was exacerbated by panic among the general public, leading to the "gasoline shortage crisis" in January 2019.
  • This study analyzes Big Data on the behavior of the general public based on POS transactions in gas stations, per day and per hour, in the Valle de México metropolitan area.
  • The shortage became a crisis at noon on January 8, it lasted 13 days and ended on January 20. During the crisis, consumers purchased on average 16% more gasoline per transaction, and fuel purchases at late night and early in the morning increased up to 400%.
  • After the crisis was over, the fuel stockpiled by consumers lasted for a week, in which gas stations reported a 21% decline in transactions.
  • Digital media and social networks contributed to rapidly spreading news, and probably also panic, during the onset and development of the crisis.

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