ULSD Falls on China Factory Slowdown Amid Rising Inventories

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fell along with crude oil as a slowdown in manufacturing in China pointed to lower demand and on speculation a government report today will show rising distillate fuel inventories.

Futures slipped as China’s manufacturing weakened more than estimated in July, according to a preliminary survey of purchasing managers. The Energy Department will probably report today that distillate stockpiles rose 1.85 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg. Supplies were the highest since Feb. 1 in the prior week, EIA data show.

“The market is being weighed on by Chinese manufacturing figures coming in lower than expected and anything that reflects slowing growth in Asia will impact on demand for crude oil,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for August delivery fell 1.63 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.053 a gallon at 9:57 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on trading volume that was 9.7 percent below the 100-day average.

ULSD’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 1 cent to $21.81 a barrel. The premium over Brent rose 28 cents to $20.91.

Gasoline, the best performer this month in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 commodities, fell as the EIA may report gasoline inventories rose 1.65 million barrels last week, according to the survey.

August-delivery gasoline fell 1.37 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.0454 a gallon on trading volume that was 46 percent below the 100-day average.

Gasoline’s crack spread versus WTI widened 16 cents to $20.15 a barrel. The fuel’s premium to Brent gained 47 cents to $19.27 a barrel.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 0.6 cent to $3.66 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Banker at bbanker@bloomberg.net

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