Navarik Data has previously reported on our efforts to track diversions and disruptions due to Hurricane Harvey (Vessel Verified, 6 September 2017). We can now confirm that we have seen no comparable disruptions to marine movements of refined products into Florida. This is particularly true for movements from PADD 3 to Florida; a common supply route from the region of the United States that has the most refining capacity to a region that has none to speak of. Navarik Data expects the relative lack of disruption to be due to three factors.
First, the storm’s overall damage has been thankfully less than most pre-landfall estimates. Second, the storm’s route up the western side of Florida, rather than the eastern side, may have left the State’s predominant marine import facilities like those at Port Everglades out of the brunt of the storm. Third, Irma’s effects on refining and distribution system is fundamentally different than that of Harvey. Harvey’s flooding affected the operation of PADD 3’s refineries including damage to the facilities but also access to feedstocks, whereas Irma has displaced untold numbers of Florida residents and accordingly is a downstream consumption-side disruption rather than a midstream supply-side disruption.
However, this also introduces another kind of market uncertainty; when the consumption-side disruption will abate. How quickly reconstruction efforts (in Florida as well as other affected areas of the Caribbean) proceed will determine the demand for refined products, so in a sense it may be that the marine disruptions and diversions have yet to occur. If this is the case, Navarik Data’s suite of reports is uniquely placed to be able to provide market-beating guidance, before the relevant vessels have even left berth.
Bloomberg, 11 September 2017
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