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Weekly oil market recap: week ending 29th September 2013

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

PIRA Energy Group have said that Asia Pacific refinery margins have begun to recover and global crude markets are supported. Also, on the week, the US had a small stock build, while Japanese stocks drew.


  • Global crude markets are supported by continuing supply outages.
  • Strong crude stock draws are likely to resume in November and increase sharply into December.
  • In the Atlantic basin, refiners have responded to the higher price of gasoil/diesel versus gasoline by steadily increasing diesel/gasoil yields.

Asia Pacific

  • Refinery margins are starting to recover from poor levels amid increasing refinery turnarounds and good demand growth.
  • In Japan, crude runs continued declining as turnarounds ramped up.
  • In Japan, the crude import rate was sufficiently low to produce a large crude stock draw.
  • Japanese gasoline demand was higher with a low yield that drew stocks.
  • Japanese refining margins began to improve, but remain statistically poor.


  • Crude stocks surprised to the upside with a sharp drop in runs for the week ending 20th September.
  • Crude stocks remain above average, but this is largely due to new infrastructure to service growing US production, while the inventories of the four major products are below the historic average.
  • US octane value has trended higher in 2012 and 2013, mainly due to the US having effectively reached its maximum ethanol utilisation, and gasoline blenders cannot adjust octane with additional volumes of ethanol.
  • Increasing runs of paraffinic US shale crudes are putting downward pressure on catalytic reforming yields and generating substantial quantities of low octane light naphtha.
  • Diesel/heating oil yields have increased from roughly 26 – 27% to over 30% or more.


  • Prices rose in most of the US the week ending 20thSeptember.
  • Cash margins for ethanol were the highest since November 2011.
  • RIN prices dell to the lowest values since February.
  • US ethanol supply was tight the week ending 20th September.
  • PADD I stocks are at the lowest level in over three years.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd.

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