Global product markets weekly: Middle distillate stocks draw a further 4 mbbls, but margins take another hit
For the week commencing 16 April, refinery margins across all the key refining centres weakened as crude prices continued to strengthen to new multi-year highs. However, weekly aggregated stock levels for gasoline, middle distillates and residual fuel oil in the US, NW Europe, Japan, Singapore and the Middle East are expected to have drawn. A particular focus for the market and the near-term developments should be on middle distillates as the most recent data suggest this was the fourth consecutive weekly global stock draw. The weekly average price of all regional crude oil benchmarks increased for the second week in a row. Dated Brent strengthened the most across all other global crude benchmarks, having on average increased a further US$2/bbl last week. Prices have been supported by market sentiment that total OECD commercial stocks have fallen below the five-year average, along with geopolitical risk around Syria, Venezuela and Iran.