Mexico yesterday raised the price of its crude oil by about 30 percent from $24.60 a barrel to $32 per barrel, the government oil monopoly Pemex announced.

The increase comes a day after Nigeria increased the price of its crude from $31.03 to $34.48 a barrel.

Mexico is not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries but follows OPEC pricing trends and normally raises its price every three months after negotiations with foreign buyers.

Mexico does not sell on the spot market, where prices are higher and the Pemex spokesman said this policy would continue.

The $32 price is for high quality crude delivered at the Gulf's of Mexico port of Veracruz.

The price a year ago was $14.10 for the standard 42-gallon barrel. It went to $17.19 in March, $22.60 in July and $24.60 in October. The new price is retroactive to Jan. 1.

Eighty percent of the oil Mexico exports goes to the Unites States -- about 440,000 barrels of total U.S. imports of approximately 8 million barrels a day.

Nigeria provides 14 percent of all U.S. imports. Radio Lagos, monitored in London, quoted the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. as saying Nigeria's increase was intended to restore the competitivenes of Nigerian oil in international markets.

An OPEC ministerial conference last month in Caracas, Venezuela, failed to unify oil prices, leaving the 13 member nations free to seek whatever prices they can get for their oil this winter.

OPEC moderates, such as Saudi Aurabia, charge as little as $26 a barrel for their oil. Crude prices vary according to quality, but Nigeria's new price for its high-quality, low-sulfur oil brings it into line with Libya, an OPEC militant, which markes its low-sulfur oil at $34.72 a barrel.