Los Angeles Diesel Gains to Three-Week High After Supplies Slide

Spot diesel in Los Angeles advanced to the highest level against futures in more than three weeks after stockpiles of the fuel tumbled to the lowest level for this time of year since 2006.

California-grade, or CARB, diesel supplies slid 21 percent in the seven days ended July 26 to 1.95 million barrels, the lowest level in three months, the state Energy Commission said yesterday. Chevron Corp.’s El Segundo refinery was scheduled to shut the No. 2 crude unit this month for a full turnaround that will last several weeks, a person familiar with the work said June 13.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel supplies on the U.S. West Coast, known as the PADD 5 region, declined 10 percent to 10.9 million barrels last week, the lowest level since June 28, according to the Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

CARB diesel in Los Angeles gained 0.5 cent against ULSD futures on the Nymex to a premium of 5 cents a gallon, the highest level since July 8, data compiled by Bloomberg at 4:30 p.m. New York time show. The same fuel in San Francisco was unchanged at 4 cents a gallon above futures.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Pacific Northwest, climbed 0.5 cent to 3.5 cents a gallon over futures.

Conventional gasoline in Portland weakened 9 cents against gasoline futures on the Nymex to a premium of 0.5 cent a gallon. California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles gained 0.75 cent to 7.75 cents a gallon below futures.

Retail Gasoline

Retail gasoline in California fell 0.7 cent to $3.978 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the nation’s largest motoring organization, said today on its website. Prices in most Southern California areas have dropped by almost 1 cent a day in the past week, moving closer to $4 a gallon, the Los Angeles-based Automobile Club of Southern California said in an e-mailed statement today.

“It appears that gas prices are returning to their normal pattern of dropping over the summer, after a couple of relatively short-lived but unusual June and July price spikes,” Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Southern California auto club, said in the statement.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles narrowed a second day, losing 38 cents to $13.81 a barrel at 4:10 p.m. New York time, a one-month low.