Gasoline Jumps to 12-Week High as Refineries Shut Units for Work

Gasoline jumped to the highest level since October as refineries shut units for repair, which may tighten supplies of the motor fuel.

Futures rose as refiners conducted maintenance at plants in Pennsylvania that supply fuel to New York Harbor, the delivery point of futures contracts. Gasoline inventories along the U.S. East Coast as of Jan. 11 were at the lowest seasonal level since 2006, Energy Information Administration data show.

“There have been refinery glitches and shutdowns that have helped support gasoline,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Gasoline for February delivery rose 1.88 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.8487 a gallon at 10:08 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $2.8571, the highest intraday level since Oct. 31. Volume was 42 percent above the 100-day average.

The more actively traded March contract climbed 2.07 cents to $2.8618 a gallon.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions plans to shut the Girard Point section of the largest plant near New York Harbor, the delivery point for gasoline futures, this month, and a fluid catalytic cracker at Delta Airlines Inc.’s Trainer, Pennsylvania, refinery has been shut for repairs since December.

The EIA is scheduled to report last week’s inventories at 11 a.m. tomorrow. The report will probably show that gasoline supplies rose 1 million barrels and distillate stockpiles increased 500,000 barrels, according to the median estimate of nine analysts in a survey by Bloomberg.

Heating oil for February delivery gained 0.35 cent to $3.0717 a gallon on the exchange. The March contract increased 0.44 cent to $3.0601. Volume was 18 percent below average.

The retail price for regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 0.6 cent to $3.316 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. That’s the sixth consecutive increase.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara 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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