Global diesel shortage boosts prices

Global distillate fuel oil inventories remain much lower than normal for the time of year which is putting strong upward pressure on fuel prices.

Distillates such as diesel, gasoil and heating oil are the primary fuels used by the industrial economy and inventories are normally strongly correlated with the manufacturing cycle.

But stocks in all the major consuming regions were severely depleted in August, despite a prolonged slowdown in manufacturing activity and freight movements over the previous year.

But there is also a shortage of refinery capacity in Europe and North America to turn enough crude into diesel and other mid-distillates.