|SAs mentioned earlier, European gasoline demand has been
declining, while distillate demand has been increasing as light-duty
diesel-fueled vehicles continue to penetrate this market. In 1995, the consumption ratio for middle
distillates to gasoline and naphtha was 1.4.
By 2007 it had risen to 2.2,
and it is expected to increase further in the next 5-10 years.
|SAs the table at the left shows, European refiners have
increased distillate yield and decreased gasoline yield modestly over 10
years. With European refiners having
made the operational changes to maximize distillate production, further
increases in distillate depend on new hydrocracker and bottoms conversion
|SPast yield changes have fallen short of meeting the
changing demand mix. The result has
been a growing increase in distillate imports and gasoline exports. Distillate imports fell back in 2007,
mainly as a result of a reduction in heating oil demand from milder weather,
drawing down inventories, and less consumption for power generation. Diesel demand continued to rise in 2007,
and total distillate demand has again risen in 2008, causing imports to renew
their upward climb.