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European refining margins continue to slide

Profits for processing crude into refined products are under pressure, especially in Europe

REFINING margins continue to tumble as pressure mounts from higher crude prices and persistently bloated stocks. Brent cracking margins in northwest Europe slid to just $2.16 per barrel for the week ending 13 May, data published by BNP Paribas show. That's the lowest the margin for processing the European benchmark crude into products has been since 18 March, and compares to an average of around $3.14/b in April, data from the investment bank show. Rising crude prices have helped to pressurise margins, as feedstock costs for refiners increase. Front-month Brent futures were trading just under $48/b in mid-May, up from around $34/b at the beginning of February. Unlike last year, US gasolin

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