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Downstream oil in brief: Germany's climate change dilemma, what happens if the Rhine dries up?

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14 August 2019

Downstream oil in brief: Germany's climate change dilemma, what happens if the Rhine dries up?

Report summary

Following our previous insight covering the Rhine water level crisis at end 2018, this month we revisit the Rhine following a period of low water in July. In this article we look both at the short-term disruption to freight rates and inland fuel prices, as well as exploring the longer-term implications for those reliant on the Rhine as a transport route. We also looks at how European refining and marketing margins have been performing over the past month.

Table of contents

  • Europe's most important river: the role of the Rhine in oil product trade flows
  • Why Rhine water levels matter: the impact on freight rates and inland fuel prices
  • Lower for longer: what are the alternative transport options if the Rhine becomes structurally shallower?
  • Potential winners and losers: who should be most concerned?
  • In conclusion
    • Refining margins:
    • Retail margins: pump prices lag a wholesale price collapse, as margins surge
    • Germany and Switzerland: pump prices set to rise as barge loading restrictions imposed
  • Client feedback

Tables and charts

This report includes 13 images and tables including:

  • The Rhine river and Germany's hinterland refining system
  • A critical relationship: Rhine water levels and freight rates
  • Seasonal trends in freight rates vs water levels
  • Rhine water levels long term range and forecast
  • NWE refining margins
  • Med refining margins
  • MED gasoline/gasoil crack spreads
  • NWE gasoline/gasoil crack spreads
  • Average weighted gross retail margins
  • Germany: gasoline gross retail fuel margin
  • Switzerland: gasoline gross retail fuel margin
  • Germany: diesel gross retail fuel margin
  • Switzerland: diesel gross retail fuel margin

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Refining Margins.xls

    XLS 316.50 KB

  • Document

    Downstream oil in brief: Germany's climate change dilemma, what happens if the Rhine dries up?

    PDF 1.43 MB

  • Document

    Downstream oil in brief: Germany's climate change dilemma, what happens if the Rhine dries up?

    ZIP 1.46 MB

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