The Chinese reopening has certainly injected a fresh set of uncertainties into a market already overrun with unknowns. In the weeks since China has undone much of the zero-Covid policies in place for more than two years, mobility has shown clear signs of picking up and yet, refinery runs surged to new highs months earlier.
Front month calendar spreads show that Friday's selloff hit crude harder than products. That being said, hedge funds likely continued to liquidate long positions in ICE gasoil, after selling 6,200 contracts in the week ending November 15th.
US gasoil inventories have reached record lows on several occasions this year, giving sustained support to refining margins and retail prices. Current stocks are at the lowest level at the end of October for over 40 years, and yet the US continues to export to Latin America.
Australia's refined product imports have surged in the first nine months of the year, as our flow data show. However, as the region becomes increasingly import reliant, and trade flows change, we would not be surprised to see the region competing for volumes to ensure its energy needs are met.
European Gasoil imports have fallen to an 11-month low, despite this being the peak demand season. A mild winter in most of the region has combined with faltering demand recovery, meaning just 7.5 million tonnes were imported in January 2022.
Wholly owned by Saras, the Sarroch refinery is one of the largest in Europe, accounting for over 20% of Italy’s total refining capacity, with maximum throughput of 300 kbd. The refinery delivers much of its output to Italy (25%), Spain (10%) and France (12%), making it a prescient indicator of European oil consumption.
The LNG supply crunch, paired with historically weak hydropower output has incentivized Chile to substitute towards more gasoil/diesel sourced from abroad.