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Diesel Fuel Advances in Gulf Coast on Demand for Cargoes

Diesel fuel strengthened in the U.S. Gulf Coast today as traders booked cargoes to carry fuel from the region after Hurricane Sandy closed ports on the East Coast, boosting demand for shipments to Europe.

As many as eight diesel cargoes were booked for loading from the Gulf before Nov. 10, according to Charles Martin, head of clean tankers at MJLF & Associates, a Stamford, Connecticut-based shipbroker. There would normally be about three such shipments over a comparable period, he said.

Hurricane Sandy, the Atlantic superstorm that made landfall in southern New Jersey on Oct. 29, prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to shut the ports of Boston, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine this week. Phillips 66’s Bayway refinery and Hess Corp.’s Port Reading plant remained shut three days after Sandy struck the coast.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in the Gulf rose 1.25 cents to trade at a discount of 3.5 cents a gallon below heating oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:56 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the first advance in four days.

Diesel in New York Harbor gained 2.75 cents to 12.75 cents a gallon over futures at 3:16 p.m., the highest level since Sept. 5.

Reformulated gasoline in the New York was unchanged at 4.25 cents above futures.

Stockpiles of gasoline in the U.S. rose by 935,000 barrels to 199.5 million in the week ended Oct. 26, the third consecutive weekly advance, the Energy Department reported today. Gulf Coast supplies led the gain with an increase of 1.46 million barrels to 70.5 million.

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