The refinery utilisation rate in the US averaged around 93% during May, corresponding to 17.2 mb/d. This represented an increase of more than 100 tb/d from the previous month’s level and was around 900 tb/d higher than the same month a year ago. With the start of the driving season and the end of the spring maintenance period, refinery runs have been on the rise, hitting the highest level witnessed in years, at the end of May, as several refineries came back on line. However, this contributed to gasoline and middle distillate inventories reversing their previous downward trend to remain well above the five-year average level, thus exerting pressure on the margins.
European refinery runs averaged around 88% of capacity in May, corresponding to a throughput of 10.2 mb/d. This is some 250 tb/d lower than the previous month and around 500 tb/d higher than the same month a year ago. Refinery throughputs are expected to be on the rise in Europe, due to the end of spring maintenance season. The sector was barely impacted by strike actions undertaken by French industry unions.
In Asia, refinery runs in India averaged around 4.9 mb/d during April, around 160 tb/d lower than in March. Meanwhile, Chinese refinery throughputs averaged 10.8 mb/d during May. This is around 190 tb/d lower than in April due to the impact of maintenance. Refinery runs in Singapore averaged around 85% in April, falling around 4 pp vs. the previous month due to some refinery maintenance. Japanese throughput averaged 85% of capacity in May, corresponding to 3.0 mb/d, down 5 pp vs. the previous month as available capacity continued to be impacted by peak maintenance.