Product Markets and Refinery Operations
OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report – September 2017
Product markets in
exhibited a positive performance in August, with all product cracks registering
gains m-o-m, with the exception of fuel oil.
Graph 6 - 4: Rotterdam crack spread vs. Brent
crack against Brent increased by $0.6/b, reaching minus $0.7/b. A rise in the
naphtha crack spread in August was underpinned by the strength of reforming spreads and open arbitrage
opportunities from Europe to Latin America, as a result of shortages caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf
of Mexico. The upward path in naphtha crack performance was also encouraged by outages at the 0.4 mb/d
Shell Pernis refinery towards the end of July.
gasoline 98 RON
crack spread against Brent railed in August, gaining $1.7/b from the previous month
to average around $23.5/b. The main supporter for
crack spreads in Europe originated from the
arbitrage volumes heading to the US Atlantic Coast as Tropical Storm Harvey shut-in substantial refining
capacity, reducing the supply of gasoline. Latin America was another destination for European gasoline.
Arbitrage volumes increased during the month of August, as the supply to Latin America from the US abated
due to shortages.
gasoil 10 ppm
crack spread against Brent crude at Rotterdam averaged around $13.0/b in
August, adding more than $0.7 compared with the previous month’s level. Lower diesel flows from the USGC
and healthy domestic demand supported the crack spread during the month. The European
spread against Brent crude at Rotterdam averaged around $14.1/b in August, adding more than $1.4/b
compared with the previous month’s level on continuing solid demand and tighter overall supply.
bottom of the barrel
, the NWE
fuel oil crack for 1% sulfur
shed some $1.5/b compared with the
previous month to average around minus $5.0/b in August. The decline is a result of seasonally slower
domestic demand and weaker export volumes to Asia.
Sources: Argus Media and OPEC Secretariat.