Gasoline Gains as East Coast Supply Shrinks, Imports Fall

Gasoline rose for the first time in four days as inventories of the motor fuel on the East Coast shrank and imports declined.

Futures advanced as East Coast stockpiles of reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, are at a four-year low, according to Energy Department data. Gasoline imports into New York Harbor slid 45 percent last week. Prices at the pump have fallen for six consecutive days, according to AAA data.

Gas prices have dropped and there’s tightness in the Harbor,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “But this may be a correction rather than a sign the market’s turning higher.”

October-delivery gasoline rose 4.5 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $2.8736 a gallon at 9:48 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices fell 6.2 percent over the prior three days.

Regular gasoline at the pump slipped 0.8 cent to $3.846 a gallon yesterday and have dropped 2.5 cents in six days of declines, AAA data show. Prices reached a 2012 high of $3.936 on April 4.

U.S. gasoline inventories fell 1.41 million barrels to 196.3 million last week, the eighth consecutive decline and the lowest level since October 2008.

Futures also gained as Irving Oil Corp.’s Saint John refinery in New Brunswick shut a fluid catalytic cracker. The 298,800-barrel-a-day refinery exports half of its output to the U.S. Northeast.

“RBOB inventories are low, imports were substantially down and there’s the unscheduled shutdown of a gasoline-producing unit that supplies the Northeast,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

Heating oil for October delivery rose 2.35 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $3.0675 a gallon on the exchange, after declining 6 percent the first three days of the week.

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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