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California Gasoline Gains as Ships Chartered for Exports

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Spot gasoline in California gained as at least two tankers were chartered to load refined products on the U.S. West Coast early next month for export to South and Central America.

The Alpine Eternity is scheduled to load fuel off the West Coast on July 6 for Central and South America, according to ship-fixture data compiled by Bloomberg. The tanker, anchored off the coast of Baja California, was at Chevron Corp.’s Richmond refinery in Northern California on June 19, according to IHS Inc. data.

The Isola Corallo, traveling north off the coast of Peru, was chartered by Valero Energy Corp. to load clean products off the West Coast on July 7 for delivery to Chile, ship-fixture data show. IHS data show the vessel is heading for Martinez, California.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in San Francisco advanced 5 cents to a premium of 3 cents a gallon against futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to data compiled by Bloomberg at 4:09 p.m. Prompt-delivery of the fuel gained for the first time in six days, rising 6.03 cents to $2.7581 a gallon.

Carbob in Los Angeles climbed 2 cents to a premium of 10 cents a gallon.

The discount for Carbob in San Francisco versus Los Angeles narrowed 3 cents to 7 cents a gallon, the smallest differential in three days.

Hydrogen Plant

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. restored operations late yesterday at its Wilmington plant, which supplies hydrogen to Los Angeles area refineries, after resolving an “issue with a power supply module,” Art George, a spokesman based at the company’s headquarters in Allentown, Pennsylvania, said by e-mail today.

Valero Energy Corp.’s 78,000-barrel-a-day Wilmington refinery reported flaring yesterday related to the upset at the Air Products plant, Bill Day, a spokesman at Valero headquarters in San Antonio, said by e-mail. The upset wasn’t expected to affect output from the refinery, Day said.

California-blend, or Carbob, gasoline stockpiles gained 3.2 percent to 5.56 million barrels in the week ended June 21, the most since April 5, the state Energy Commission said on its website late yesterday. Output of the fuel climbed 1.1 percent to 7.28 million barrels.

Retail Gasoline

Retail gasoline in California dropped 1.3 cents to $4.041 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the nation’s largest motoring organization, said today on its website. Prices at the pump rose above 2012 levels last week for the first time since Feb. 25 as Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Torrance refinery took down its crude unit for unplanned repairs. Spot prices in Los Angeles jumped to an eight-month high on the shutdown.

“Southern California motorists are amazingly being spared from wholesale prices that spiked by 70 cents from June 3 to June 19,” Jeffrey Spring, spokesman for the Los Angeles-based Automobile Club of Southern California, said in an e-mailed statement. “Southland Fourth of July travelers should be able to gas up at or below $4 a gallon for their trips.”

The premium for spot, conventional gasoline in Portland, Oregon, slipped 0.5 cent to a premium of 11 cents a gallon over futures. Portland gasoline weakened 2.5 cents against Los Angeles Carbob to a premium of 1 cent a gallon.

Motor gasoline stockpiles on the West Coast, known as the PADD 5 region, added 833,000 barrels last week to 29.2 million, the highest level since March, Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, said yesterday.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed for the sixth day, losing 3 cents to $13.89 a barrel at 4:11 p.m. New York time, the lowest level since April 30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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