Gasoline Trades Near Eight-Month High as Supplies Drop

Gasoline futures traded near an eight-month high after a report that inventories fell last week.

Futures touched the highest level since Aug. 29 after the American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday that U.S. gasoline supplies fell 3.39 million barrels in the seven days ended April 18. The Energy Information Administration will probably report today that stockpiles contracted 1.65 million barrels, according to the median estimate of 10 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg.

“The API decline is a reflection of refinery maintenance and unscheduled outages that have been occurring,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “Now, the market will wait and see what EIA inventories are. A large crude build would put pressure on the market again.”

May-delivery gasoline rose 0.5 cent to $3.1002 a gallon at 9:25 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $3.1016. Volume was 13 percent above the 100-day average.

The EIA is scheduled to report last week’s inventories at 10:30 a.m. today in Washington. Gasoline supplies in the week ended April 11 were the lowest since Nov. 15, as refiners coped with unscheduled repairs amid seasonal maintenance shutdowns.

Pump Price

The average U.S. pump price rose 0.6 cent to $3.673 a gallon, the highest in 13 months, according to data from Heathrow, Florida-based AAA. Prices are 15.8 cents higher than a year ago.

Gasoline’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate increased 5 cents to $26.17 a barrel. The motor fuel’s premium to Brent crude widened 5 cents to $18.65. The spreads are based on June contracts.

The EIA will probably report today that supplies of distillates, including diesel and heating oil, fell 300,000 barrels, the survey showed. The API reported an increase of 570,000 barrels.

Ultra low sulfur diesel for May delivery fell 0.02 cent to $3.0024 a gallon. Volume was 37 percent below the 100-day average.

Diesel’s crack spread versus WTI narrowed 10 cents to $23.96 a barrel. The premium to Brent dropped 12 cents to $16.42.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net David Marino, Bill Banker

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