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Jet keeps driving European distillate demand growth in 2019

Published by , Deputy Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to ESAI Energy’s recently released Europe Watch Products, European jet fuel demand will rise by just 30 000 bpd this year, compared with 60 000 and 80 000 bpd in 2018 and 2017, respectively, as growth in both passenger and freight air traffic continues to slow. Nevertheless, jet fuel will continue to account for the vast majority of total distillate demand growth in the region.

The Europe Watch Products report points out that last year, jet fuel was singlehandedly responsible for Europe’s distillate demand growth. Regional jet fuel demand rose by 60 000 bpd last year even as gasoil demand plateaued, with a 50 000 bpd increase in consumption of diesel for road transport entirely offset by an equal sized decline in heating fuel demand. This year, jet fuel will continue to drive distillate demand growth, even as jet consumption growth decelerates. Jet fuel will account for 30 000 of the forecast 40 000 bpd of total distillate demand growth.

Throughout 2018, growth in both passenger and freight air traffic decelerated in Europe. ESAI Energy analyst Ian Page points out that “with overall regional economic growth forecast to slow next year, air traffic is expected to follow suit.” However, despite a slowdown in growth, the European jet fuel deficit is forecast to continue expanding. In 2019, imports are forecast to rise by an additional 20 000 bpd. The Middle East and to a lesser extent FSU will account for this increase as the exportable jet fuel surpluses in both of those regions expand.

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