Extract from demand:
European oil demand fell for the fourth straight month in December 2018, dropping y/y by 0.83 mb/d to 14.5 mb/d. Although subject to revisions, full-year 2018 European demand growth was down y/y with a robust H1 18 offset by weak figures in H2 18 amid a scorching summer, weak macroeconomic backdrop and low Rhine levels. December 2018’s contraction was driven by German demand once again, which dropped by 0.31 mb/d y/y, led by naphtha. French demand was lower y/y by 0.12 mb/d with diesel down by 0.13 mb/d, hurt by anti-government protests that forced President Macron to scale back reform initiatives.
Turkey, Norway and the UK were also weak. Diesel bore the brunt of the weakness, falling y/y by 0.25 mb/d across Europe, with naphtha a close second at 0.22 mb/d. In contrast, European jet demand rose y/y by 12 thousand b/d, amid a sustained increase in airline passenger numbers. Europe’s five largest airports recorded a combined y/y rise of 940,000 passengers in December 2018. Gasoline demand did rise y/y, powered by continued growth in gasoline car sales, but growth slowed to its lowest pace in a year. Across 2018, total EU vehicle sales were flat y/y at 15.2 million, but diesel sales fell by 18.3% while gasoline sales rose by 12.8%.
Extract from refinery runs and stocks:
Refinery runs gained by 0.70 mb/d m/m to 13.06 mb/d in December 2018, with y/y declines easing to 0.23 mb/d. Planned CDU maintenance fell by 1.0 mb/d m/m to 0.29 mb/d. The m/m decline in works was led by the Netherlands (-0.21 mb/d) as flows resumed at ExxonMobil’s 0.2 mb/d Rotterdam refinery. In Portugal, maintenance fell m/m by 0.2 mb/d as planned works at Galp’s 0.22 mb/d Sines refinery ended in early December 2018. A week-long strike at Sines in mid-December had no material effect on runs. Strikes continued through January, and new strikes are planned for February, also involving workers at Galp’s 0.12 mb/d Matosinhos refinery.