Energy Correspondent, London
Claire's Feed
Jul 20, 2012

European refiners raise output on better margins

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – European oil refiners increased
production in the month of June to take advantage of improved
margins and cheaper crude oil feedstock, figures from industry
monitor Euroilstock showed on Friday.
Refiners have been under pressure for much of 2012 as the
high price of crude oil has squeezed their profit margins.
But Brent crude oil futures fell about $10 over the
course of June, helping overall refining margins to rise to some
$8.88 a barrel in northwest Europe, up from $6.37 a barrel in
May, according to Reuters’ calculations.
Europe’s total net refinery output was up 3.1 percent in
June from the previous month, with fuel oil and naphtha showing
the biggest month-on-month production gains, up 3 percent and
3.4 percent, respectively.

Gasoline production was up 1.8 percent from May, and middle
distillates were up 1.4 percent as refiners sought to exploit
the improved margins on offer in a tighter European products
market.
Supplies of gasoline and diesel had fallen steadily as
almost a quarter of Europe’s refining capacity was offline in
May. This pushed up gasoline and diesel refining margins to over
$20 a barrel apiece in June.
Total refining output was still down 2.2 percent
year-on-year, as many refineries remained idled in the
Mediterranean. Maintenance and unplanned outages in northwest
Europe have also weighed, with the UK’s Coryton refinery now
closed for good.
David Wech, an analyst at JBC Energy in Vienna, said that
according to JBC’s calculations, the utilisation rate had
increased to 80.7 percent in June, up from Euroilstock’s 77.15
percent in May.
But this is still low for the time of year, when refineries
should be pumping hard to meet summer driving demand for
gasoline in the United States and diesel in Europe.
“It is interesting to see that utilisation, as well as the
gasoline share in total output, remain lacklustre in spite of
relatively healthy refinery margins and surprisingly strong
gasoline cracks,” he said.
He added that gasoline’s share of total output is at the
lowest level since at least 2000. This is indicative of the weak
demand from the important U.S. market.

Jul 16, 2012

Oil holds above $102 on China stimulus hopes

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices held steady above $102 a barrel on Monday supported by weekend comments from China’s Premier Wen Jiabao that the government would step up its efforts to boost the economy of the world’s second-largest oil consumer.

Brent crude was up 27 cents to $102.67 a barrel by 5.21 a.m. EDT. Prices settled $1.33 higher on Friday. U.S. oil was down 38 cents to $86.72 a barrel, after ending $1.02 higher on Friday.

Jul 13, 2012

Oil up above $102 after China GDP data

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose above $102 on Friday after Chinese GDP data came in slightly better than expected, improving sentiment across the board in commodities, and the United States ramped up pressure on Iran’s ability to export oil.

Brent crude oil futures were up $1.29 to $102.36 a barrel by 1014 GMT. U.S. crude was up 77 cents at $86.85.

Jul 11, 2012

Grain prices seen extending gains on U.S. drought

LONDON (Reuters) – UK-based asset manager Cardwell has been betting on rising grain prices in recent weeks and plans to stick with that position as long as its computer models signal that prices have further to climb as a U.S. drought hurts crop forecasts.

Although agricultural commodities had been been out of favour with investors for a year, adverse weather conditions over the past month in major grain-growing countries such as the United States and Russia have lifted prices in the wheat and corn markets.

Jun 27, 2012

Analysis: EU’s oil refiners face carbon double-whammy

LONDON (Reuters) – European oil refiners could be doubly disadvantaged by EU plans to make them pay for some of their carbon emissions from January 2013 due to rising competition from cheap foreign imports and non-European-owned refiners inside the EU.

Struggling EU refiners are already worried that moves to make them pay for carbon emission credits from January 1, 2013 will put them at an operational cost disadvantage to refineries outside the EU.

Jun 14, 2012

Oil steady ahead of OPEC meeting, Greek polls

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices held just under $97, with investors and traders reluctant to add to positions ahead of a meeting on Thursday of oil producer group OPEC and Greek elections at the weekend.

Traders are looking for any change in OPEC’s output policy given that some view the market as over-supplied, while the Greek election result should deliver some clarity as to whether Greece will stay in the euro.

May 31, 2012

Oil dips near $102, eyes worst month in two years

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil fell towards $102 on Thursday as disappointing data from the United States and India fuelled nervousness around the global demand outlook, compounding eurozone worries and putting oil on course for its biggest monthly percentage drop in two years.

Brent crude futures for July delivery were down $1.19 at $102.28 per barrel by 10:06 a.m. EDT (1406 GMT), after hitting a new seven-month low at $102.07. Prices were on track for the biggest monthly loss since May 2010, after slipping 3 percent on Thursday.

May 31, 2012

Oil down near $103, eyes worst month in 2 yrs

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil fell towards $103 on Thursday as disappointing data from the United States and India fuelled nervousness around the global demand outlook, compounding eurozone worries and putting oil on course for its biggest monthly percentage drop in two years.

Brent crude futures for July delivery were down 31 cents at $103.16 per barrel by 1255 GMT, after hitting a new five-month low at $102.78. Prices were on track for a monthly loss of around 13 percent, the biggest since May 2010, after slipping 3 percent on Thursday.

May 31, 2012

Oil up near $104, but eyes worst month in 2 yrs

LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) – Oil edged up near $104 on
Thursday as buyers moved back in after Wednesday’s heavy sell
off, but continuing nervousness around the demand outlook and
the eurozone crisis kept oil on course for its biggest monthly
percentage drop in two years.

Brent crude futures for July delivery were up 50
cents at $103.97 per barrel by 0945 GMT, off a low of $102.90
hit earlier in the session. Prices were on track for a monthly
loss of around 13 percent, the biggest since May 2010, after
slipping 3 percent on Thursday.

May 18, 2012

Oil down near $107 on Greek exit fears

LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) – Oil prices slipped towards $107 a
barrel on Friday as investors fled risky, growth-sensitive
assets on fears that Greece would leave the euro, although
short-covering provided some support for Brent.

Brent crude was down 16 cents to $107.33 a barrel by
1348 GMT after slipping to its lowest level for the year at
$106.40 earlier in the session. U.S. crude was down 67
cents to $92.89.

    • About Claire

      "At Reuters I am an energy correspondent covering the oil markets and investment trends in commodities. Prior to this I focused on the asset management industry. Before joining Reuters I edited Global Investor, a monthly magazine for the institutional investment industry, and Portfolio International, a magazine for the offshore funds industry."
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
      Languages:
      English
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