Gasoline Futures Advance as Brent Rally Increases Import Costs

Gasoline futures rose on speculation a rally in Brent crude along with the shutdown of the only refinery in Scotland will increase the cost of fuel imports.

November futures gained as much as 1 percent and diesel advanced as Brent, the benchmark for crude used in European and U.S. East Coast refineries, jumped the most in almost two weeks. East Coast gasoline imports increased 5.3 percent to 576,000 barrels a day in the week ended Oct. 11, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday. The 210,000-barrel-a-day Grangemouth plant remained shut as employees weighed a wage proposal from Ineos Group Holdings SA.

“The products are actually being boosted by Brent prices, rather than WTI,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “We’re seeing some support in products over in Europe due to the shutdown of the Grangemouth refinery, which is now going on a week.”

Gasoline for November delivery gained 1.15 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.6653 a gallon at 10:15 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 15 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus WTI rose 13 cents to $12.37 a barrel. The spread has more than doubled since sliding to $5.68 on Oct. 4, the smallest margin since November 2010. The premium to Brent fell 39 cents to 85 cents a barrel.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 0.5 cent to $3.344 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 32.1 cents below a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for September delivery rose 3.03 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.0409 a gallon on the Nymex, on volume that was 2.5 percent below the 100-day average.

ULSD’s premium versus WTI widened 89 cents to $28.12 a barrel. The crack spread over Brent increased 24 cents to $16.90.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eliot Caroom in New York at ecaroom@bloomberg.net

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

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