Gasoline Futures Fluctuate Before Government Inventory Report

Gasoline fluctuated before the first government inventory report since Oct. 10, which is projected to show motor fuel inventories declined while crude stocks jumped.

Futures swung between gains and losses before the Energy Information Administration report scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Washington. The EIA will probably say gasoline supplies fell 1 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 11 while crude stockpiles rose 3 million, according to the median estimate of nine analysts in a survey by Bloomberg. Gasoline crack spreads widened as Scotland’s only refinery is shut because of a strike.

“There’s more than adequate crude supplies and the market is expecting another large build,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “Gasoline is being supported by the closing of the Grangemouth refinery and the consensus is for a decline in inventories.”

Gasoline for November delivery rose 0.28 cent to $2.676 a gallon at 9:56 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices swung between $2.658 and $2.6779. Trading volume was 67 percent below the 100-day average.

The EIA report, scheduled to be released Oct. 17, was delayed because federal workers were furloughed for 16 days during a partial government shutdown that ended Oct. 16. The report for supplies in the week ended Oct. 18 will be released on Oct. 23.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus WTI widened 94 cents to $12.40 a barrel. The premium to Brent rose 31 cents to $2 a barrel.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 0.4 cent to $3.349 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 32.7 cents below a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for November delivery rose 0.02 cent to $3.0355 a gallon on trading volume that was 10 percent above the 100-day average.

ULSD’s premium versus WTI widened 78 cents to $27.46 a barrel. The crack spread over Brent climbed 10 cents to $17.50.

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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