Market Rerouting Creates Refining Winners & Losers

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The systemic changes in crude and product trade flows in the aftermath of the Ukraine war have had far-reaching impacts on global refiners. The clear winners are China and India, which can capitalize on deeply discounted Russian crude. Refiners elsewhere are seeing margins slip. They are paying full price for crude from other suppliers while product prices sag due to ample supply and lackluster demand. With the rerouting now mostly sorted out and Russian exports still robust, most refiners are watching margins deflate from historic highs in 2022 and early 2023. Import bans of Russian fuel and other restrictions by OECD nations in Europe, Asia and the Americas have rerouted around 2.4 million barrels per day of Russian crude and 1.8 million b/d of refined products over the past year. Most Russian crude now ends up in Asia, which has more than doubled imports, while products land in the Mediterranean, Africa and Latin America. Officials suspect that Russian fuel might also end up in Europe disguised as products from other countries. Discounts, creative trading and a shadow fleet of non-Western tankers keep Russian oil flowing, which has so far prevented a big supply disruption.

Refining, Oil Products, Oil Demand, Oil Supply, Oil Trade
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