Product Markets and Refinery Operations
OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report – October 2017
refinery utilization rates increased from 90.72% in August to 91.00% in September, corresponding
to throughput of 10.5 mb/d.
Japan refinery utilization dropped by 5.6 pp from 95.75% to 90.13%, corresponding to refinery runs
of 3.17 mb/d. Singapore refinery runs increased by 2 pp to 90.1%. Overall, the Asian market remained
almost flat, despite product export opportunities to Europe being offset by refinery maintenance.
at the beginning of the month reached their highest value since 4Q16, they
immediately fell as USGC refineries resumed operations.
Product markets over the month showed healthy levels, which started to retreat to pre-Hurricane levels
towards the end of the month. The impact of the Hurricane was minimal due to the availability of product
supplied on open arbitrage mainly from Europe. Furthermore, crude oil refinery input was able to recover
quickly as crude stock levels were about 60% higher than available when hurricanes Katrina and Gustav hit
the USGC back in 2005 and 2008, respectively; a safety cushion had been provided for additional response
time. With Hurricane Harvey, USGC refineries were able to restarted much sooner.
Gasoline crack spreads
reached their highest
value since 4Q16 at the beginning of the month,
with daily cracks soaring to almost $50/b on 1
September. However, cracks quickly fell when
USGC refinery intake resumed, to average around
$34/b for the month. September premium gasoline
prices in the US increased by 7% from $76.43/b to
From a wider perspective, gasoline cracks showed
gradual improvement during the most recent driving
season and continuing into in September.
crack spread gained strength
in September as jet fuel and diesel demand were
strong, and higher exports and inventory
drawdowns were seen during the last weeks of the
month. Since June 2017, the gap between diesel
and jet/kerosene crack spreads has been gradually
Graph 6 - 3:US Gulf crack spread vs. WTI
cracks also positively contributed to overall product cracks, compared with last month, as the market
tightened on overall low stocks.
Sources: Argus Media and OPEC Secretariat.