Refinery Margins - November 2017
Source: OPEC 11/15/2017, Location: Europe
Oil Treating & Refining
US product markets received very strong support in the previous months on the back of significantly higher US gasoline demand. However, with the end of the driving season in the US, the typical seasonal slowdown in gasoline demand has exerted pressure on the gasoline market in the Atlantic Basin. Sharp losses across the barrel caused refinery margins to decline. In the USGC, refinery margins weakened significantly due lower seasonal demand despite remaining at healthy levels amid low inventories. Refinery margins in the US averaged $12.4/b in October, dropping $3.8/b m-o-m, but higher by $6.0/b y-o-y.
The European product market showed a weak performance in October as refinery margins fell due to pressure coming from the supply side with increasing inflows amid a lack of export opportunities impacting the top and bottom of the barrel. The refinery margin for Brent Crude in Northwest Europe dropped by $2.4/b from the previous month to average $7.03/b, unchanged compared to same month a year ago.
Asian product markets also weakened slightly on reduced arbitrage opportunities to Europe, despite healthy regional demand in Asia, offset by supply side pressure resulting from the start-up of capacity expansion in the Chinese refining sector. The Asian market saw weakening all across the barrel, with the exception of naphtha, which continued to strengthen m-o-m. The refinery margin for Oman in Asia dipped by $1.7/b from a month earlier to average $9.36/b, gaining $1.6/b y-o-y.