Our Middle East Quarterly is being relaunched as the Middle East & Africa Quarterly. This marks the official launch of our Africa coverage, a region that is home to demand the size of India’s consumption, and yet receives little attention. For more detail on why we have expanded the reach of this quarterly, please do listen to the first edition of our Energy Aspects Podcast: MEAQ Insight – Importing in Africa.
The newly enhanced Quarterly provides a comprehensive analysis of the region, examining key topics in depth and providing a detailed guide to regional supply, demand, trade flows and downstream capacity across the Middle East and Africa. Each quarter, focus pieces delve into key issues that will impact the market in the near and medium term.
In this edition:
- In Focus: The low oil price environment has crimped oil product demand in key African countries this year but things are set to improve in 2017. Against a backdrop of stagnant refinery output, Africa will require an additional 70 thousand b/d of clean product imports next year, or seven or eight MR-sized vessels per month.
- In Focus: Iran’s nuclear deal enabled a rapid recovery in oil production and exports over H1 16. But the election of Trump and mounting domestic pressures ahead of next year’s Iranian election raise questions about the future of the deal. While we do not expect the next US administration to immediately withdraw from the deal, new US sanctions appear likely. That could cap production close to current levels of 3.7 mb/d as foreign investors will become even more cautious.
- Macroeconomic outlook: With the Middle East’s largest economy, Saudi Arabia, on the verge of its first non-oil-sector recession in three decades, we examine what the recent Opec decision means for the Kingdom’s short-term and long-term economic fortunes.
- Outlook for oil products: South African refineries will be in the spotlight for 2017: the deadline for meeting tougher environmental legislation is fast approaching but there is little consensus over how the necessary refinery upgrades will be financed. The market is also tentatively opening up to the prospect of a more significant non-refiner presence in the import/storage business, adding further pressure to the struggling sector.
- Outlook for crude: With the OPEC cut set to focus on the discounted heavier grades in the key GCC nations, medium sour balances, already tight due to declines in LatAm and Asia, are set to tighten further. As a result, a narrower Brent-Dubai spread will be the new norm.
The Middle East & Africa Quarterly also provides a unique and comprehensive overview of key regional data, focusing on: demand, refining, supply, trade flows and prices, including domestic consumption by country and by oil product for key Middle Eastern and African countries; refining capacity and upcoming projects by country and refined products output; crude output by country, with detailed focus on the largest regional oil sectors; and trade flows. We now also publish detailed analysis on Sub-Saharan African markets, given their growing importance in determining global product flows.