Total refining margins plunge to five-year low
Total earned $10.60/ton, compared with $51/ ton a year earlier, it said today on its website. The indicator, which was $24.10 a ton in the second quarter, has dropped to its lowest since at least early 2009.
By TARA PATEL
Total, Europes biggest refiner, said third-quarter
crude-processing margins shrank to the lowest level in almost
five years as fuel demand continued to slide.
Total earned $10.60/ton, compared with $51/ton a year earlier,
it said today on its website. The indicator, which was
$24.10/ton in the second quarter, has dropped to its lowest
since at least early 2009, according to company data.
Refining margins were ugly in
the third quarter, Bertrand Hodee, an analyst at Raymond James
in Paris, said in a note. He had previously estimated
European refiners have suffered a slump in demand after
economies slowed. In response, Total is curbing oil-processing
and petrochemicals operations in the
region and expanding in Asia and the Middle East. The
Paris-based company unveiled a plan last month to shut a steam
cracker at its Carling plant in France, and has acquired gas
stations in Pakistan and Egypt.
The average European refining margin was 20 euros
($27.01) per ton in the first six months of 2013, down
from 34 euros in 2012, the Union Francaise des Industries
Petrolieres lobby said on its website. Oil-product use will
drop 5% in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development in the decade through 2020, and grow elsewhere,
Total said last month.
The company failed to sell its Lindsey refinery in the UK and fought with
the French government in 2010 over a proposal to shutter a
plant at Dunkirk. Strikes against the plan led to nationwide
fuel shortages and forced Total to guarantee not to shut
another French plant for five years.