Gasoline Futures Decline After Industry Report Shows Supply Gain

Gasoline fell after an industry- funded report that stockpiles of the motor fuel rose 5.97 million barrels last week.

Futures declined 1.2 percent after the American Petroleum Institute showed the stockpile increase late yesterday. The Energy Department may report a supply gain of 875,000 barrels in the week ended Dec. 2, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg News.

“The refiners refined everything they had and we saw a big surge in gasoline inventories that put a damper on the gasoline market,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago.

Gasoline for January delivery fell 3.04 cents to $2.615 a gallon at 9:50 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after settling yesterday at the highest level since Nov. 8. Prices have risen 6.6 percent this year.

The Energy Department is scheduled to report last week’s inventories at 10:30 a.m. today in Washington. Gasoline stockpiles in the week ended Nov. 25 rose 213,000 to 209.8 million barrels, the highest level in eight weeks, according to the department.

Demand at the pump last week fell below a year earlier for the 14th consecutive time last week, down 4 percent from 2010 levels, according to MasterCard Inc.’s SpendingPulse report yesterday. Measured on a four-week average, consumption was 4.2 percent below a year earlier, the 37th consecutive decline in that measure.

“Gasoline is continuing its trend with lower demand and we’ve seen that throughout 2011,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

Distillate Supplies

Supplies of distillates rose 1.68 million barrels last week, according to API.

Analysts projected the government report may show a increase of 1.15 million barrels, according to the survey. Supplies of heating and transportation fuels surged 5.53 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 25, the biggest gain since January 2009, according to the department.

January-delivery heating oil declined 1.58 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.0059 a gallon. Prices have gained 18 percent this year and peaked at $3.3197 on April 8.

Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 1.1 cent to $3.286 a gallon yesterday, according to AAA data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara J Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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