Refinery utilization rates have been ramped up worldwide, with spring maintenance approaching an end. In Asia, throughput levels continued at near-record levels in China, South Korea and India. Meanwhile, in the Atlantic Basin, several refineries were impacted by events in France and Canada.
Refinery utilization in the US averaged around 91% in May, corresponding to 16.3 mb/d, which was 200 tb/d higher than a month earlier. Refineries were running at maximum levels in the USGC, with several refineries back from maintenance, thus compensating for lower levels in other areas possibly impacted by a shortage of Canadian crudes, which also affected refinery levels in Canada.
European refinery runs averaged around 83% of capacity in May, corresponding to a throughput of 9.8 mb/d, 240 tb/d lower than in the previous month and around 460 tb/d lower than the same month a year ago. European refinery throughputs continued to be impacted by some maintenance and in addition, in May, were impacted by the French strike, which affected operations in several refineries, ports and gas stations in the country. This caused refinery utilization in France to drop to 60%.
In Asia, refinery utilization has continued to rise, mainly in South Korea, India and China, where Chinese teapot refineries contributed to continuing record-high levels, hitting around 10.9 mb/d in April. Indian refinery runs hit 4.9 mb/d during recent months, responding to strong demand growth in the country. Refinery runs in Singapore for April averaged around 72%. Meanwhile, Japanese throughputs averaged 81% of capacity in May, 5 pp lower than the previous month as some maintenance continued in the country.