Gasoline rose for a fourth day as demand for the motor fuel climbed ahead of the Christmas holiday, indicating supplies may decline.
The Energy Information Administration reported yesterday that supplies along the U.S. East Coast, or PADD 1 region, fell last week amid lower imports and higher demand. U.S. travel from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1, during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, will increase for a fifth straight year to a record, boosted by more automobile trips, AAA said on Dec. 17.
“The inventory report was positive,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil market strategist at Energy Aspects Ltd., a research company in London. “PADD 1 stocks drew, a sign underlying demand is really pretty strong.”
Gasoline for January delivery rose 0.95 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $2.7068 a gallon at 10:07 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 12 percent below the 100-day average.
Gasoline stockpiles in PADD 1, which includes New York Harbor, the delivery point for futures contracts, declined 1.4 percent and imports slipped 15 percent. Nationwide, demand jumped 8 percent last week and over the past four weeks is up 3.7 percent from a year ago.
The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate, a rough measure of refining profitability, widened 2 cents to $15.51 a barrel. Gasoline’s premium to Brent slipped 7 cents to $4.20 a barrel.
The average U.S. pump price fell 0.4 cent to $3.212 a gallon, the 11th consecutive decline, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today. Prices are the lowest since Nov. 19. Prices are 1.4 cents lower than a year earlier.
Supplies of distillates, including diesel and heating oil, fell 2.11 million barrels to $116 million. PADD 1 distillate supplies declined 1.24 million barrels to 36.5 million.
ULSD for January delivery gained 0.61 cent to $3.0162 a gallon on volume that was 40 percent above the 100-day average.
To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at firstname.lastname@example.org