Lower Demand to Cut Refinery Rates in Fourth Quarter, IEA Says

Global refiners will process 400,000 barrels a day less crude in the fourth quarter because of plant halts and a lower demand outlook, according to the International Energy Agency.

Rates will drop to 75.4 million barrels a day in the period compared with 75.8 million in the third quarter, the Paris-based agency said today in its monthly report.

Crude demand was revised up by 140,000 barrels a day for the third quarter, as “robust refinery margins lifted runs in Europe, more than offsetting lower-than-expected U.S. runs in September,” the agency said.

“In both regions, the bottom line is that exports have become a key driver of refining activity and profits, not just the outlet for surplus product that they used to be,” the IEA said.

European refiners, “buoyed by a dramatic turnaround in refining margins,” have been postponing seasonal maintenance and are processing more crude through the system, amid reduced output capacity from last year, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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