Global crude trade flows are expected to shift significantly over the next 5 years. In the US, the growth of light crude production and record refining runs has led to increased light crude exports, particularly to Europe and Asia – a dynamic impacting competing grades and benchmark pricing.On the demand side, refiners in Asia are expected to account for the bulk of incremental crude imports, leading to increased competition between US, Middle Eastern and African crude exporters. Despite the global crude slate lightening over the next five years, this belies underlying tensions in the oil market: an oversupply of light-ends (gasoline), the role of IMO 2020 and the scramble for Heavy crude, and finally, uncertainties in future product demand.
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