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For most of 2020, China’s refineries processed more crude oil than U.S. refineries
In April 2020, more crude oil was being refined in China’s refineries than in U.S. refineries for the first month on record, and the trend continued for all remaining months in 2020 except for July and August. China processed more crude oil than the United States not only because of the unique effects of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions in 2020, but also because of differences in the longer-term structural refining trends between the two countries.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly; China’s National Bureau of Statistics
Petrochemical trends H1 2021
Demand recovery possible despite ongoing uncertainty. The global petrochemical industry finished 2020 on a strong note, a welcome change from most of the year. Petrochemical prices saw pressure from multiple fronts, across the globe, as the COVID pandemic, coupled with lower energy prices, negatively impacted demand.
While the near future remains uncertain, there are legitimate reasons to expect overall improvement in the global petrochemical markets.
Source: S&P Global Platts Petrochemicals Analytics H1 2021 Report