- Having expanded by 1.6 mb/d in 2016, global oil product demand growth is expected to ease back to 1.4 mb/d in 2017. Early indicators of 1Q17 demand support this, with slowdowns seen in January in Japan, Germany, Korea and India.
- Global oil supplies rose 260 kb/d in February as OPEC and non-OPEC producers pumped more.At 96.52 mb/d, world oil production stood 170 kb/d below a year ago. OPEC posted a year-on-year decline for the second month running. In 2017 non-OPEC output is set to rise 0.4 mb/d to 58.1 mb/d.
- OPEC crude output rose by 170 kb/d in February to 32 mb/d, putting compliance with the group’s supply cut at 91% for the month. Saudi Arabia raised output by 180 kb/d month-on-month, but flows remained below its agreed target.
- OECD commercial inventories rose in January for the first time in six months by 48 mb, or 1.5 mb/d, to 3 030 mb, underpinned by near-record US crude stocks and gains in Europe. Preliminary data show a modest draw of 5 mb in February despite further builds in US crude.
- Benchmark crude prices moved in a tight range of $55-56/bbl through February, before falling more than $3/bbl on 8-9 March. Sour crude Dubai maintained the gains achieved against Brent in recent months, while middle distillates and gasoline prices rose in most regions.
- Refinery throughput growth recovered to 0.9 mb/d y-o-y in 4Q16, but will slow down to a 0.6 mb/d increase in 1Q17, before surging by 1.9 mb/d in 2Q17. This reflects a recovery from 2Q16’s unusually low levels, with implied refined product stock drawdowns supporting higher throughput.
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