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Middle distillates take centre stage

Oil-product demand, especially for middle distillates, is rising more quickly that processing capacity. It's good news for refiners

Most oil refiners should be able to look forward to a period of comfortable margins and high capacity use, as consumption rises more quickly than new nameplate capacity and the demand barrel shifts to favour middle distillates, industry officials and analysts say. But they caution that the market won't let the good times roll for everyone. "Margins should generally, globally be pretty good, but it'll depend on where you are," says Alan Gelder, head of consultancy Wood Mackenzie's refining, chemicals and oil markets division. He and others point out that while the industry can be expected to get a boost from growing petrochemicals demand and an expected shift to middle distillates from fuel

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