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Refinery Margins - May 2017

Source: OPEC 5/15/2017, Location: Europe

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The US market saw strong support from the rally in gasoline crack spreads. This was on the back of increasing domestic gasoline demand, which recovered following a slump during 1Q17. Another supporting factor was the higher exports opportunities to Latin American countries. US Gulf Coast (USGC) refinery margins for WTI crude gained almost $3/b compared to the previous month to average $10.60/b in April. This is the highest level seen in the last 20 months.

Product markets in Europe strengthened during April, supported by stronger regional demand and higher arbitrage export opportunities amid lower inflows into the region that fuelled tightening sentiment. Product crack spreads exhibited gains across the barrel with gasoline showing the best performance. The middle distillates market became more balances due to a reduced economic arbitrage from the US and lower exports from the Baltic, due to this region’s heavy maintenance season.

The refinery margin for Brent crude in NWE gained more than $2/b over the previous month’s level to average $8.2/b in April.

Asian product markets recovered during April, supported by firm regional demand amid tightening sentiment fuelled by the region’s peak maintenance season. This along with lower inflows into the region, allowed the product crack spreads to strengthen across the barrel and refinery margins in Singapore gained more than $1/b versus the previous month’s level, to average around $8.50/b in April, a relatively healthy level.

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