Australian May oil demand hit the second highest level on our records (which date back to 2009), at 1.06 mb/d, just 1 thousand b/d lower than the record in February and higher y/y by a massive 90 thousand b/d. Once again, diesel was the main driver of demand growth hitting a new record of 0.52 mb/d, higher y/y by 68 thousand b/d. Diesel has been the strongest product since November last year (except for in April, due to disruptions to mining caused by Cyclone Debbie). Demand should continue to grow with exports from coal terminals servicing mines in the Bowen Basin in central Queensland (which were affected by the cyclone) recovering to almost year-ago levels in June. Gasoline demand was up strongly, by 17 thousand b/d y/y, while jet demand grew y/y for the 21st consecutive month, by 5 thousand b/d. But LPG demand continued to weaken, falling by 7 thousand b/d y/y as switching to gasoline and diesel amongst car drivers continued apace, while fuel oil, bitumen and other products collectively grew by 9 thousand b/d y/y.
Refinery runs declined y/y for the fourth consecutive month, by 37 thousand b/d, even though at 0.47 mb/d, runs were at their highest since August 2016. Crude imports rose sharply m/m and by 86 thousand b/d y/y despite total liquids production rising y/y for the first time in 12 months by 9 thousand b/d. Condensate production grew by 22 thousand b/d y/y, supported by the ramp up at Gorgon LNG offsetting a 13 thousand b/d y/y decline in crude, while crude exports also jumped. Crude inventories drew m/m by 0.5 mb (offsetting last month’s build). Gasoline and jet inventories registered steep m/m gains, by 0.9 mb and 0.6 mb respectively, with jet hitting a record of 3.4 mb, while LPG and diesel stocks fell.