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Midwest Gasoline Strengthens After Valero Memphis Reduces Rates

May 25 (Bloomberg) -- Midwest gasoline strengthened as Valero Energy Corp. operated the fluid catalytic cracker at reduced rates at its Memphis refinery.

The unit has a leak in an overhead line, said Bill Day, a spokesman for the company in San Antonio. Workers at Husky Energy Inc.’s Lima refinery in Ohio began a strike after negotiations to reach a contract agreement with the company failed.

The discount for regular, 87-octane gasoline in Chicago narrowed 5 cents to 4.5 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:56 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery slipped 0.31 cent to $2.7784 a gallon.

The Lima refinery can process 160,000 barrels of crude a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Operations have not been affected” by the strike, Mel Duvall, a Calgary-based company spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

The same fuel in the Midwest, or Group 3, strengthened 1.62 cents to a discount of 8.13 cents a gallon to futures.

Flint Hills Resources LLC’s Corpus Christi refinery in Texas shut a crude unit, according to Genscape Inc., an energy information provider. A 104,000-barrel-a-day crude section in the West plant of the refinery was off, Hillary Stevenson, manager of data integrity at Genscape, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The discount for reformulated, 87-octane gasoline, or RBOB, in the Gulf Coast narrowed 0.5 cent to 3.5 cents a gallon against futures.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in New York at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net.

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

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