Gulf Gasoline Tumbles to Three-Month Low as Refinery Work Ends

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline tumbled to a three-month low as refineries prepared to finish seasonal maintenance and boost output at a time when supplies of the fuel are at a seasonal high.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Gulf weakened 2.5 cents to 19.5 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:01 p.m., the lowest level since July 19, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The conventional CBOB grade fell 3 cents to 21 cents below futures.

Differentials weakened as the peak period for fall maintenance neared an end, signaling that an increase in production may soon add to supplies in the region. Refineries including Phillips 66 (PSX)’s Lake Charles, Louisiana, plant and Delek US Holding Inc. (DK)’s Tyler, Texas, site are winding up work that included a fluid catalytic cracker and an alkylation unit.

Stockpiles of gasoline in the region, referred to as PADD 3, dropped 2.1 million barrels to 76.4 million in the week ended Oct. 11, according to Energy Information Administration data. That’s the highest level for the time of year in data going back to 1990.

The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf Coast, a rough measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, slid 27 cents to $11.14 a barrel. The same spread based on Light Louisiana Sweet oil, the Gulf Coast benchmark, dropped 67 cents to $8.74 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel on the Gulf was unchanged at a discount of 5.63 cents to ULSD futures. The same fuel slipped 0.15 cent to a premium of 0.1 cent in the New York Harbor.

Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline, or RBOB, in the Harbor slid for a fifth day, dropping 0.95 cent to 0.25 cent a gallon above futures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Harvey in New York at charvey32@bloomberg.net

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

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