The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the European transport sector. Millions were confined to their homes, airplanes were grounded and motor traffic came to a standstill. Product stocks rose as refineries ramped up processing of cheap crude at the start of the year.
Collapsing demand eroded margins and forced refineries to reduce runs and start closing units, before shutting whole plants. Some units will restart, but for others 2020 will mark the start of conversion into biofuels or storage facilities. 2021 may bring further woes, but the roll out of vaccines may pave the way to demand recovery.