Midwest Gasoline Reaches One-Week High After Inventories Drop

Midwest gasoline rose to the highest level in more than a week after inventories declined in the region.

Regional supplies fell 908,000 barrels to 51.4 million last week, the Energy Department said today. Stockpiles have fallen for eight of the past nine weeks.

“Gasoline is seeing some draws and things are picking up,” said Steve Mosby, vice president of ADMO Energy LLC, a supply consultant in Kansas City, Missouri. “I think we’ve seen the bottom” for prices in the Midwest.

The discount for regular gasoline in the Midwest, or Group 3, narrowed 1.75 cents to 20.38 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:49 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the highest level since April 10. The discount was 24.25 cents on April 16.

The same fuel in Chicago strengthened 2.5 cents to a discount of 11.5 cents a gallon.

Regular gasoline in the Gulf Coast was unchanged at a discount of 14.88 cents versus futures.

Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) has no plans to start a fluid catalytic cracker at the Meraux refinery in Louisiana within the next two months, according to a person with knowledge of the situation said yesterday.

The unit may return to operation in mid-June if profit margins improve, said the person, who declined to be identified because the information isn’t public.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net.

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

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