Transport Fuel Demand Growth Rebounds in 2019

Next year, global demand for transport fuels will rise by nearly 1.1 million b/d, after increasing by just 800,000 b/d in 2018. This acceleration will be driven by rebounding gasoline and diesel demand growth.

Gasoline demand, which is slated to increase by just 150,000 b/d this year, is expected to rise by 350,000 b/d. The turnaround in the gasoline market will be particularly pronounced in China and Brazil.

Meanwhile, diesel demand growth is forecast to rise to 470,000 b/d in 2019 from 330,000 b/d in 2018 as consumption in China and Saudi Arabia plateaus after collapsing this year.

In spite of rebounding global gasoline demand growth, increases in output, particularly East of Suez, will far outstrip demand gains. This loosening of fundamentals will exert bearish pressure on gasoline

fundamentals and further narrow gasoline spreads to crude in 2019.

Similarly, in spite of accelerating demand growth, the global diesel market will weaken prior to the implementation of the IMO’s 0.5 percent sulfur content cap on marine fuels. As a result, and global

trade flows of diesel will shift.

Refining capacity increases will help the Middle East raise diesel exports to Europe from 350,000 b/d in 2018 to 450,000 b/d in 2019, while U.S. and Asian exporters will trim their deliveries to Europe. With

Europe’s import requirement shrinking, Middle East barrels will add downward pressure on global distillate spreads to crude, particularly in the first half of 2019.

Demand Stable despite Price Threats

Higher oil prices and currency devaluations have increased the cost of fuel imports in Latin America. The worst affected, based on volume and cost, is Brazil’s diesel imports. We expect regional demand growth to flatten out in several key countries in 2019. Other changes will help reverse 2018 slowdowns, however, and regional gasoline and diesel demand will grow by more than 40,000 b/d each next year.

Strategic Stockpiling to Support China’s Crude Imports

Oil Voice:

China’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) depot in Jinzhou officially started filling in August 2018, bringing the existing depot capacity to a total of 249.1 million barrels, according to ESAI Energy’s new released China Watch report. The launch of this site suggests that Beijing is slowly progressing towards the end of its Phase II SPR, and that filling the government depot alone could add 70,000 b/d to Chinese crude demand between now and the end of 2018 and another 150,000 b/d in 2019.

Strategic Stockpiling to Support China’s Crude Imports

Hellenic Shipping News:
China’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) depot in Jinzhou officially started filling in August 2018, bringing the existing depot capacity to a total of 249.1 million barrels, according to ESAI Energy’s new released China Watch report. The launch of this site suggests that Beijing is slowly progressing towards the end of its Phase II SPR, and that filling the government depot alone could add 70,000 b/d to Chinese crude demand between now and the end of 2018 and another 150,000 b/d in 2019.

China’s Navy Catching Up

Over the last several years we have written about the growing imbalance between U.S. and Chinese dependence on the Persian Gulf for oil. Chinese oil demand growth and U.S. oil supply growth have shifted the importance of the region for both importers. A significant and lengthy disruption in the Persian Gulf could still impact all oil consumers through the price mechanism, but the U.S. economy is now far more insulated from energy disruptions than the Chinese economy. Not surprisingly, China’s naval capabilities have grown considerably to address this vulnerability to the flow of oil and other goods

Oil Product Demand Growth Outpaces Supply

Asian oil demand growth of 700,000 b/d will outpace regional throughput growth of 300,000 b/d in 2019. Refiners will reduce utilization rates in the first half of 2019 in response to weaker margins and the strong growth of Middle East supplies. Throughput restraint in the first half of the year will lay the groundwork for stronger refining margins in the second half of the year, particularly from middle distillates.

Iran’s Loss, Russia’s Gain

Hellenic Shipping News:

Russia will export more crude beginning in September, with most incremental exports targeting Europe, according to ESAI Energy’s CIS Watch Crude Outlook. Russia’s higher exports will come just as European refiners cut imports of Iranian crude, turning Iran’s loss into Russia’s gain.

Strategic Stockpiling to Support Crude Imports

China’s strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) depot in Jinzhou officially started filling in August, bringing the existing depot capacity to a total of 249.1 million barrels. The 31.4-million-barrel Zhanjiang depot will not be commissioned until perhaps the second half of 2019. We estimate that crude stocking in depots will add 70,000 b/d to Chinese crude demand between August and the end of 2018 and another 150,000 b/d in 2019.

Russia, Australia to boost global LPG supply

Kallanish Energy:

Russia and Australia are expected to add over 100,000 barrels per day of new liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply in coming months, providing markets with an alternative supply source, Kallanish Energy learns.

Consulting firm ESAI Energy said Thursday in its latest Global NGL Outlook the non-U.S. projects will boost global LPG supply while restraints in U.S. exports infrastructure limit shipments this winter.