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Gasoline at U.S. Pumps Drops to Lowest in Five Months, EIA Says

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July 1 (Bloomberg) -- The average U.S. retail gasoline price fell to the lowest level since January as refineries increased output in the Midwest, easing supply fears.

Gasoline prices averaged $3.496 a gallon today, down 8.1 cents from the previous week and the lowest level since Jan. 28, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The average price is 14 cents higher than it was this time last year.

Prices fell in every geographic region, led by the Midwest, where the average price dropped 15.2 cents to $3.394. Prices there have dropped 12 percent since June 10.

BP Plc’s refinery in Whiting, Indiana, restarted its largest crude unit, returning the plant to its nameplate capacity of 413,000 barrels a day, the company said today in a written statement. Exxon Mobil Corp. finished a planned turnaround at its Joliet, Illinois, refinery on June 9.

Gasoline supplies in the Midwest have grown every week since May 17, when they dropped to a one-year low of 47.6 million barrels. Stocks grew by 206,000 barrels to 49.9 million in the week ended June 21, according to Energy Information Administration data.

The cheapest gasoline in the U.S. was in the Gulf Coast, where prices fell 6.5 cents to $3.312 a gallon. The highest prices were on the West Coast, where the average declined 5.6 cents to $3.892.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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