On the streets of Lausanne, on the shores of Lake Geneva, protesters demonstrated at the weekend against commodity trading firms’ use of the country as a base for their activities, and the limited transparency of their operations. On Monday, the bosses of the world’s leading commodity trading firms gathered at the 5-star Beau-Rivage Palace hotel in Lausanne to discuss the market outlook, following a period of high volatility and dramatic price falls.
There may be something in Italian refiner Saras executive vice-president Dario Scaffardi’s thesis on European refining that “there is no overcapacity, just wrong capacity”.
Speaking at a business update in July, Scaffardi said the closure of a string of European refineries since 2009 was because of substandard, smaller and less-complex refineries being unable to compete in the wider market place, not simply the result of an excess in supply. Continue reading