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Resurgent demand drives US refining recovery

The domestic downstream sector is bouncing back on healthier margins, but the energy transition threat still looms large

Refining margins in the US got a head-start on their usual seasonal uptick this year thanks to particularly inclement winter weather. The ‘Big Freeze’ paralysed refining operations on the US Gulf Coast and sent weekly US crude throughput to its lowest levels this century in late February. To make matters worse—or better for those still able to run—many idled units struggled to return quickly, drawing product inventories to markedly more constructive levels, despite an end-user demand environment that was and is still ravaged by Covid-19. US crude intake has rebounded by 50pc from record lows, but clean product inventories continue to draw, a sign of particularly healthy end-user demand in re

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