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U.S. Gulf Gasoline Increases After Jones Act Is Suspended

Gasoline strengthened on the Gulf Coast on speculation the Obama administration’s waiver of the Jones Act will boost product shipments to the U.S. East Coast as refineries remain shut after Hurricane Sandy.

The administration suspended the requirement that allows only U.S.-flagged ships to move between the country’s ports. The waiver comes as Phillips 66’s Bayway refinery and Hess Corp.’s Port Reading plant remain shut four days after Sandy, the largest Atlantic superstorm on record, made landfall in southern New Jersey Oct. 29.

Reformulated gasoline to be blended with ethanol on the Gulf Coast strengthened 4.87 cents to a discount of 9.13 cents a gallon below futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:54 p.m., a third consecutive gain.

Bayway and Port Reading have a combined capacity of 308,000 barrels a day, or about 24 percent of East Coast refining, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gasoline supplies in the U.S. Northeast dropped by 202,000 barrels to 47.9 million in the week ended Oct. 26, the Energy Department reported yesterday.

Reformulated gasoline to be blended with ethanol in New York Harbor was unchanged for the fourth day at 4.25 cents a gallon above futures.

Spot gasoline in California was also unchanged, at an 8-cent-a-gallon premium to futures in Los Angeles and a 3.5-cent-a-gallon discount in San Francisco.

Conventional, 84-octane gasoline to be blended with ethanol in Portland, Oregon, held at a discount of 21.5 cents a gallon against futures.

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