EU Jet Fuel Imports Drop as Margins Boost Refinery Output

Jet fuel imported into Europe over the first quarter declined by 6% compared to the prior-year period, as refineries in the 28-member countries took advantage of higher margins to boost output of the middle distillate by 12%.

Imports to the 28-member countries from January through March totaled 4,065,000 metric tons, according to data from Eurostat, the European Commission's statistics agency. That compares to 4,462,000 tons shipped to Europe in the first quarter of 2014, and is just over a million tons lower than fourth quarter imports, the Eurostat figures show.

By contrast, refineries in Europe hiked output of jet fuel over the first quarter, as prices tumbled on lower crude costs, based on statistics from the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI). Jet fuel premiums paid over Low Sulfur gasoil in north west Europe averaged $32.50 over the period, OPIS data show. They have since dropped - averaging $17.60 over May - cutting refinery profits.

EU Jet Fuel Imports Drop as Margins Boost Refinery Output

Kerosene and jet fuel produced in the region, excluding Turkey, reached 11.4 million tons in the first quarter of 2015, according to JODI. That's 12.5% higher over the same period 12 months ago, according to JODI data compiled by OPIS.

Refinery output of jet fuel and kerosene in Spain - Europe's biggest producer of the middle distillate -- reached a record 831,000 tons. Output in France output was the highest since July 2013, at 392,000 metrictons, according to JODI figures.

JODI jet fuel and kerosene demand in Europe in the first quarter of 2015 was 2% higher than the prior-yearperiod, at 12.7 million tons. However, demand over January through March was 9% lower than the previous three-month period, according to JODI.

Complex refinery margins in northwest Europe averaged $6.95/bbl over the quarterly period, compared to $1.67/bbl for the first quarter of 2014, according to figures from JBC Energy compiled by OPIS.

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