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Margin call

European refining enjoyed a healthy end to 2016. Opec's production deal should add further support

Falling global refinery throughput since the summer has helped to draw down oil-product stocks and support margins. In October, global refinery runs averaged 77.2m barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), down from almost 81m b/d in July. As runs fell, so did inventories. This boosted refinery profitability, especially in Europe. Between July and October Brent cracking margins surged by almost 50%, reaching year-to-date highs of $5.72 a barrel, according to the IEA. The agency expects global refinery runs to have fallen by a seasonal 1m b/d in Q4 2016, down to 78.9m b/d. While this is 150,000 b/d higher than in Q4 2015, growth over the whole year-estimated at 270,0

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