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U.S. East Coast Gasoline Slumps as Jones Act Draws More Tankers

New York Harbor gasoline slumped for a third day after the waiver of the Jones Act allowed cargoes to be delivered from the Gulf Coast and as tanker shipments from Europe were poised to increase.

The Jones Act regulates shipping between U.S. ports, requiring requires ships transporting cargo to be U.S. flagged and built. Under the waiver, which allowed foreign tankers to load fuel from the Gulf Coast, about 1.75 million barrels of gasoline and blending components were transported to the U.S. Northeast, according to a Maritime Administration report. The waiver expired Nov. 13.

Fourteen gasoline cargoes are booked to deliver supplies to the U.S. for the two weeks to Nov. 28 and 15 more will probably be hired, according to shipbrokers and traders who specialize in transporting the fuel. The shipments will replenish regional inventories that fell to 45.1 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 9, a four-year low, Energy Department show.

Reformulated gasoline to be blended with ethanol, or RBOB, in the New York Harbor dropped 10 cents to a 15-cent premium versus futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 3:14 p.m. Prompt delivery slipped 8.28 cents to $2.8462.

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened as tankers loaded fuel to the East Coast. The discount for RBOB narrowed 2.25 cents to 12.5 cents a gallon at 3:52 p.m. The difference between prompt-delivery RBOB in the Gulf and any-month delivery in the East Coast was 15.63 cents today, versus 24.62 cents Nov. 12.

Stockpiles of the fuel in Padd 3 rose 922,000 barrels to 76 million, department data show.

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