|SAs a product export center, Singapore has
been somewhat of a bellweather for the Asian refinery market.
|SThe Asian financial collapse in 1998
resulted in demand and refinery utilization falling in Singapore, but
subsequent demand recovery resulted in utilization again growing in the past
2 years, approaching 1998 and 1999 levels.
|SBecause Asian demand also draws on supply
from the Middle East, high utilization in Asia is likely to affect Middle
Eastern refineries more than any other region.
|SThere potentially is some spillover into U.S.
markets. California, which sometimes
draws product from Asia, could see some higher prices as a result of the
tightening Asian market, but most U.S. product imports come from the Atlantic