for Refined product inventories
The structural shift in the U.S. refined products markets throughout this decade—with the U.S. becoming a net exporter—has benefited consumers, the country’s manufacturing sector, and the trade balance.
If refinery utilization remains near current levels, there is the danger of more inventory increases and downward pressure on product prices.
Market conditions had been mostly kind to U.S. refiners over the past five years, but current oversupply of refined products, excess downstream capacity, and tight spreads between the two major benchmarks have considerably changed the outlook.
The refining sector is the one part of the oil & gas industry that is actually making money in the current low price environment. The good times are slowing down, with demand growth weakening and refined product inventories ballooning, but U.S. refiners are still set to have a strong year in 2016