Diesel fuel in the New York Harbor weakened to trade at the smallest premium versus futures since September on speculation distillate supplies will build as refineries increase rates.
Supplies of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, probably gained 850,000 barrels last week, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The Energy Department is scheduled to report last week’s inventory data tomorrow in Washington.
Stockpiles are expected to advance as Phillips 66 plans to return units to service at its Borger, Texas, refinery and after Exxon Mobil Corp.’s diesel hydrotreater at the Baytown refinery was back in operation. Refineries probably operated at 89.1 percent of capacity in the week ended Nov. 30, up 0.5 percentage point from the prior week, according to the survey.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in the New York Harbor declined 2.75 cents to 6.25 cents a gallon over futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:48 p.m. That’s the narrowest gap since Sept. 18 and the fifth consecutive decline. Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline fell 1.25 cents to trade at 2.88 cents above futures.
Phillips 66’s 146,000-barrel-a-day Borger refinery is restarting process units after finishing maintenance and should be producing fuel at full capacity in a week, a person familiar with the operations said. A turnaround at the plant began in late September after being delayed about 30 days.
The Baytown refinery’s diesel hydrotreater was back in operation today, according to Patricia Errico, an Exxon spokeswoman at the plant. The unit was after it was damaged in a fire Oct. 3. Baytown has a capacity of 584,000 barrels per day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.