OPEC+ hits the refinery wall: John Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) – Fuel traders and refiners are becoming more pessimistic about the outlook for the global economy and transportation for the rest of this year, even as the crude producers in OPEC+ try to push oil prices higher. OPEC+ is anxious to see higher crude prices as soon as possible but its ambition is likely to be thwarted in the short term by the renewed softness in fuel consumption. Price premiums for gasoline and diesel over crude have been flat or falling for almost four weeks since June 23 amid growing anxiety about a resurgence in the coronavirus and a new round of lockdowns. Futures for U.S. gasoline delivered in September fell yesterday to less than $8 per barrel over Brent for delivery in the same month, down from more than $11 in late June. Gasoline margins have been trending lower since June 23, after rebounding strongly over the previous three months as the major economies emerged from lockdown. Diesel margins have been steadier throughout the pandemic but the modest uptrend has fizzled out in recent weeks. Earlier expectations of a quick and complete V-shaped recovery are giving way to fears about an extended period of below-trend output and… continue reading

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