Analysts See More Margin Problems for Refinersadmin
Lehman Brothers analyst Paul Cheng said the EIA report was bullish for petroleum interests, but he has some concerns. Refinery runs, he said are rising as demand for gasoline and distillates weakens. Combined with new ethanol plant startups in the next few months, Cheng thinks gasoline margins may have peaked and will decline again soon.
Soleil-Back Bay Research analyst Jacques H. Rousseau said falling gasoline inventories are not necessarily positive news for refiners. “The underlying supply/demand data remains negative,” he said. “The rolling 4-week average for demand growth (versus year-ago levels) fell from -0.3 percent to -1.3 percent.”