Europe gasoline surplus will aid aromatics - Wood Mackenzie

25 November 2009 15:06  [Source: ICIS news]

AMSTERDAM (ICIS news)--An increasing amount of reformate components in European refineries should become available for the aromatics industry due to a growing surplus of gasoline, David Auty, Downstream Consultant with Wood Mackenzie, said on Wednesday.

Auty warned, however, that the probability of lower refining utilisation rates in North America could be more challenging for the US aromatics industry.

The recession had affected demand for all oil products but the recovery is expected to be led by diesel, Auty said at 8th European Aromatics & Derivatives Conference.

In Europe, gasoline demand was projected to decline to 2015 while diesel demand rises.

Demand recovery will be limited in North America and Europe where Auty predicted growth of only 0.5%/year in the 2008-2020 period. This compares to growth of 2.5%/year in Asia-Pacific for the same period.

A large amount of new refinery capacity, however, is expected to come into operation.

About 1.8m bbl/day is being added in North America and Europe where very limited demand growth is forecast.

Globally, the amount of spare refining capacity is expected to increase to levels not seen since the mid-1980s, Auty said.

“This could lead to reduced utilisation rates, particularly in North America,” he added.

Global refinery utilisation rates are expected to fall to 78% in 2010 compared to 85% in 2006.

When refinery utilisation rates are reduced, individual products become unbalanced. In particular, the gasoline surplus grows due to slow demand growth and increasing amounts of non-refinery supplies such as ethanol.

The impact on global gasoline trade is that gasoline from Europe is forced onto the US market. In addition, refiners in the Middle East and Indian Ocean rim countries will also try and push gasoline into North America.

The 8th European Aromatics & Derivatives Conference, jointly organised by ICIS and International e-Chem, takes place from Wednesday 25 November to Thursday 26 November 2009.

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By: Peter Taffe
+44 20 8652 3214

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