For the week commencing 29 January, refinery margins strengthened in almost all refining centres and configurations. This reverses the global trend seen for much of January where margins were weak and below the five-year average. As of last week, most refinery margins not only increased above year-ago levels but also set new seasonal five-year highs. The Dated Brent crude price fell towards a weekly average of US$68/bbl, the lowest weekly average since early January. US crude price movements were mixed, with LLS and Mars weakening compared to a stronger WTI. Another Cushing crude stock draw supported a stronger WTI price, whereas refinery maintenance contributed to a 6 mbbls build in crude stocks on the Gulf Coast. Last week, the US experienced a weekly crude stock build of almost 7 mbbls and this is the first weekly crude build since early November. Consequently, the Brent-WTI differential narrowed sharply to just under US$2.90/bbl, which compares to US$4.90/bbl the previous week.