Europe Jet Fuel Imports Slump as Local Refineries Produce Record Volumes

Jet fuel imports to Europe declined over the third quarter, even with steady demand growth, as domestic refineries in key countries including the Netherlands and Germany produced record-breaking monthly volumes over the July-through- September period.

Third-quarter imports slumped by 7% compared to the year-ago period, to 6.6 million tons, according to data from Eurostat, the European Commission's statistics database.

Over the first half of the year, imports had shown growth of 15%, led by new supplies from the new Ruwais export refinery in the United Arab Emirates.

The import slump of 7% compares to a third-quarter demand gain of 3% for Europe's top six countries that consume jet fuel, based on data compiled from the Joint Organisation Data Initiative (JODI).

However, it appears the demand growth is being met locally. The Netherlands' refinery output was the highest in records going back to 2002, at 778,000 tons in September. Germany's monthly output by refineries in August was also a record 507,000 metric tons. July output for French refineries was the highest since July 2013, JODI data shows, while Italian refineries produced the most jet fuel since August 2014 in September.

However, jet fuel barge cracks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region, as calculated by OPIS, averaged $7.74/bbl over the third quarter. That is well below the $11.41/bbl average seen in the July-through-September period in 2015. ARA jet barge prices averaged $499.74/t in the third quarter of 2015 and $433.12/t in this year's comparable period.

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