Gasoline Gains on Speculation Maintenance Will Reduce Supply

Gasoline and ultra-low-sulfur diesel gained on speculation that seasonal maintenance at U.S. refineries will reduce fuel supplies.

Futures rose as the Energy Information Administration reported yesterday that refinery utilization fell 2.2 percentage points to 90.3 percent last week. Gasoline production dropped 2.8 percent to the lowest level since May and output of distillates shrank to a three-month low.

“There’s an expectation that maintenance and turnarounds are going to start to lower what are high-capacity utilization numbers,” said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Gasoline for October delivery rose 1.55 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $2.6884 a gallon at 9:49 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 41 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices are down 4.4 percent this year and 2.3 percent in the third quarter.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude widened 16 cents to $9.09 a barrel, down from $13.73 on Aug. 30. The fuel’s premium over Brent rose 16 cents to $3.43.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 1.3 cents to $3.434 a gallon, 37.1 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 $2.9892 a gallon on trading volume that was 1.8 percent below the 100-day average. Futures have dropped 1.8 percent this year and are up 3.8 percent in the third quarter.

ULSD’s crack spread versus WTI widened 27 cents to $22.41 a barrel. The premium over Brent increased 27 cents to $16.75.

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

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