Ultra-low-sulfur diesel slid to a four-week low as a decline in U.S. consumer spending and higher euro-area unemployment indicated less fuel demand. The crack spread narrowed.
Futures fell 1.8 percent, capping a fourth straight monthly drop, after a report that U.S. household purchases slid as incomes stagnated. Euro-area jobless rates jumped to a record 12.2 percent in April. The July ULSD contract’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 66 cents to $25.19 a barrel at 4:42 p.m.
“We got a kick because of the consumer spending and income numbers, which mean less demand for diesel,” said Carl Larry, Houston-based president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC. “Unemployment rising in the euro zone means we’re not going to be pushing more diesel over to Europe.”
ULSD for June delivery fell 5.1 cents to $2.7921 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since May 1. Trading volume was 39 percent above the 100-day average at 3:19 p.m. Prices fell 2.3 percent this week and 2.8 percent in May.
The June contract expired today. The more actively traded July contract dropped 6.28 cents to $2.7814 a gallon. July ULSD’s premium over Brent fell 53 cents to $16.74 a barrel.
Gasoline for June delivery slipped 3.36 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $2.7789 a gallon. Trading volume was 20 percent below the 100-day average at 3:38 p.m. Prices have declined 2.1 percent this week and 0.8 percent in May.
July gasoline dropped 5.24 cents to settle at $2.7549 a gallon. July’s crack spread versus U.S. benchmark WTI narrowed 55 cents to $23.75 a barrel. July gasoline’s premium over Brent fell 39 cents to $15.33 a barrel.
Gasoline demand averaged over the four weeks ended May 24 was 2.4 percent below a year earlier, according to Energy Information Administration data.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.7 cent to $3.612 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the nation’s largest motoring organization, said today on its website. Prices are 0.8 cent below a year earlier.
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