With the looming physical tightness of ULSD in Europe, refiners in the wider area are already starting to look at some creative refining to try and capitalize on the attractive economics. The upcoming length in off-spec diesel might just offer some respite to Europe after it goes through the process of phasing out imports from Russia, once the embargo kicks in.
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.
European road fuels demand to perform better than the last two, pandemic-plagued, years with European governments shying away from re-introducing movement restrictions this fall. However, diesel demand is not going to benefit much from this, as manufacturing activity across Europe is going through its worst month since the start of the pandemic.
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.
As oil prices soar to new multi-year highs, US consumers are having to deal with rising gasoline prices along with widespread inflation elsewhere. While the US administration appears unwilling to stimulate and incentivize domestic oil production, comparatively cheap natural gas is giving refiners one less cause for concern.