Mixed outlook seen in '11 for N. American refiners

North American refiners, while benefiting from slow recovery of the global economy, remain vulnerable to pressures from global overcapacity, relatively expensive crude oil, and high US unemployment rates, says Fitch Ratings. In 2011, refineries with "high-quality, deep-conversion assets" will perform "reasonably well," Fitch said in an annual outlook. Marginal refineries will struggle. Fitch rated creditworthiness of half the US refiners it tracks as "stable" and half as "negative." In general, refining performance will depend mainly on the speed of economic recovery in the US, Fitch said. Refiners able to export high-specification distillates to Asia and Latin America recently h...

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