Gulf Gasoline Gains on Speculaton Sandy Will Boost Demand

Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened on speculation refinery shutdowns ahead of Hurricane Sandy will boost demand for the region’s products.

Sandy, the Atlantic’s largest-ever tropical storm, prompted Phillips 66 (PSX) to shut its 238,000-barrel-a-day Bayway refinery in New Jersey early today, while Hess Corp. (HES) shut its Port Reading plant, also in New Jersey. Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ Philadelphia plant and PBF Energy Inc. (PBF)’s Delaware City, Delaware, unit are operating at reduced rates, the companies said.

Extended outages may deplete East Coast supplies, which Energy Department data show are 9.1 percent less than a year ago. Stockpiles grew 1.34 million barrels to 48.1 million in the area in the week ended Oct. 25, the agency said.

Reformulated gasoline to be blended with ethanol on the Gulf Coast gained 1.75 cents to trade at a discount of 13.75 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

RBOB in New York Harbor was 0.5 cent higher at 4.25 cents over futures.

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