Gasoline Futures Gain as Supplies May Drop Amid Refinery Repairs

Gasoline gained on speculation U.S. inventories fell as refineries shut units for seasonal maintenance and unplanned repairs.

Futures rose as Energy Information Administration will probably report today that gasoline stockpiles declined 750,000 barrels, according to the median estimate of 10 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg. Refinery rates fell 0.9 percentage point to 91.6 percent, the survey showed. Gasoline is down 11 percent this month as driving season ended and refiners switch to making winter-grade fuel, which uses cheaper blending components.

“It’s the time of year when we look for refinery utilization to be in the low 80s, not the low 90s,” said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The market has sold off hard and technically overdone to the downside so it’s not surprising to see a little bit of firming.”

Gasoline for October delivery rose 2.39 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.6831 a gallon at 10:01 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on trading volume that was 40 percent above the 100-day average. Prices are down 4.6 percent this year and 2.5 percent in the third quarter.

The EIA is scheduled to report inventories at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. Supplies of distillate fuel, including heating oil and diesel, dropped 925,000 barrels and crude stockpiles fell 1 million barrels, according to the survey.

API Report

The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday that gasoline inventories rose 341,000 barrels and distillate supplies increased 485,000 barrels.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude widened 58 cents to $8.62 a barrel, down from $13.73 on Aug 30. The fuel’s premium over Brent rose 27 cents to $2.80.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 1.4 cents to $3.447 a gallon, 36.3 cents below a year ago, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for October delivery rose 1.61 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.9771 a gallon on trading volume was 23 percent above the 100-day average. Futures have dropped 2.2 percent this year and are up 3.4 percent in the third quarter.

ULSD’s crack spread versus WTI widened 36 cents to $21.57 a barrel. The premium over Brent slipped 1 cent to $15.69.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.