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Europe Pulls US Crude

April 25, 2018

Interest to ship US crude into the European market has been rising in recent weeks, driven by a combination of increased demand in the latter and favorable crude pricing.  Suezmax and Aframax spot activity to load end April/early May has increased in the US Gulf with a strong preference to travel trans-Atlantic.  European refinery runs are beginning to ramp again as maintenance season comes to an end with JBC Energy projecting just around 120,000 b/d of offline capacity for June, coming off 900,000 b/d in May.  A recent uptick in refinery runs is providing upward ...

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Chinese Product Push

April 18, 2018

Asian refining margins remained relatively stable over the first quarter of 2018 with Singapore margins largely supported by a stronger middle distillate segment.  Growth in product exports out of this region has been quite strong over 2016/2017; however, we note a weakening of this trend in the second half of 2017 and into this year, excluding China which has observed the contrary.  According to official data from the Joint Organization Data Initiative for Oil and Gas, towards the end of 2017, China’s gas oil/diesel balance rose to a height of 476,000 b/d over November/December ...

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Mexico’s Clean Imports on the Rise

April 10, 2018

The Caribbean refining sector remains under pressure with recent market reports indicating that utilization declines have exceeded the typical seasonal decline for this period.  JBC Energy estimates that Mexican refinery utilization dipped to a low of 33% in February, from a high of 65% in July 2017, amid lower crude throughputs at six Pemex refineries (Figure, orange arrow).  Levels at these refineries averaged less than 550,000 b/d in February, down about 385,000 b/d versus the same period in 2017, when utilization was around 51% of capacity.  Even though the Madero and Minatitlan refineries returned online late ...

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