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China's Economic Woes Hurt Diesel Demand

1. China’s Diesel Renaissance Is Not Happening

- Analytics firms have been cutting their Chinese diesel demand outlooks for 2023, with Rystad and the IEA cutting 100,000 b/d and 150,000 b/d from earlier forecasts, respectively, as China’s weak construction sector and weakening manufacturing activity weigh on diesel.

- Diesel is a key product for Chinese refiners, making up 4.3 million b/d of total products output or 28.2% of total throughput, however it seems post-opening China can’t grow its demand for diesel.

- Whilst Chinese refining has been operating at high rates, stagnant diesel demand at 3.7 million b/d (a level which the IEA expects to remain stagnant in 2024) have led to a build-up in diesel inventories across China, up at 16.4 million tonnes.

- China’s real estate sector has been a key outlet for diesel consumption for construction equipment and machinery, however with new property construction down 71.7% compared to the 2019 average, there is very little support coming from the property segment.

2. El Nino Is Back, Disrupting Latin America’s Power Supply

- The return of the El Nino climatic phenomenon, characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures and subsequently hotter weather in general, spells trouble for Latin America’s electricity markets.

- The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believes there is over a 90% probability that a moderate El Nino…

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