Gasoline futures declined as U.S. refiners wrapped up seasonal maintenance and prepared to restart plants. Crack spreads narrowed.
Futures fell as much as 0.9 percent, the first drop in three days. The April crack spread, or premium for gasoline over West Texas Intermediate crude, slipped 73 cents to $39.99 a barrel. The spread versus Brent oil on the ICE Futures Europe exchange shrank 98 cents to $20.02.
“Prices have already plunged from their highs,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “Refineries are completing their turnarounds over next several weeks in the U.S. and will be increasing supplies.”
April-delivery gasoline declined 1.95 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $3.1091 a gallon at 10:03 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 32 percent above the 100- day average for the time of day. April’s premium over the May contract narrowed to 3.4 cents from 4 cents on March 1. Supplies may increase as plants boost production.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.5 cent to $3.746 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. It was the fifth consecutive decline, the longest retreat since Jan. 16. Prices, which have climbed 14 percent this year, are 1.8 cents below a year earlier.
Heating oil for March delivery fell 0.5 cent to $2.9251 a gallon on volume that was 11 percent below the 100-day average.
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