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US ULSD monthly exports have sharpest two-month fall recorded by EIA

Houston (Platts)--5 Dec 2017 419 pm EST/2119 GMT


US ultra low sulfur diesel exports fell by 6.806 million barrels to 30.517 million barrels in September, driven by falling demand from Europe and Latin America, according to Energy Information Administration data.

While that is only the second-sharpest monthly drop of the year, second to August, the decline from both months combines for the largest two-month fall in ULSD exports, at 15.365 million barrels,ever recorded by the EIA, which has data going back to January 2009.

ULSD exports have been falling from a peak of 45.882 million barrels in July, the highest mark ever reported by the agency.

The biggest decline in exports was to France, which declined from 2.743 million barrels in August to 606,000 in September.

Similarly, exports to the UK declined by 488,000 barrels during the same period, exports to Belgium fell 575,000 barrels and exports to Spain fell by 587,000 barrels.

The European declines somewhat tracks the restart of the largest refinery on the continent. Shell's 404,000-barrel Pernis refinery in the Netherlands was shut by a fire on July 29 and began its restart process on August 24.

Latin American demand for US diesel was also curbed. Exports to Brazil fell by 298,000 barrels, Chile by 1.124 million barrels, Costa Rica by 556,000 barrels, Peru by 739,000 barrels, El Salvador by 313,000 barrels and Guatemala by 1.137 million barrels.

Exports to Mexico, however, rose sharply. September ULSD flows into the country rose by 2.092 million barrels to 8.549 million barrels. That is the most ULSD Mexico has ever imported from the US, according to EIA data.

Salina Cruz, Mexico's largest refinery at 330,000 b/d, restarted operations at the end of October after repairing damage to the refinery's power plant, due to a series of large earthquakes and aftershocks in September. The refinery first halted operations in mid-June, after a flood and subsequent fire. While repairing the damage, Pemex also advanced scheduled maintenance and upgrades at the plant.

--Allen Reed, Allen.Reed@spglobal.com

--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@spglobal.com




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