Los Angeles Gasoline Declines to Five-Month Low on High Supplies

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Spot gasoline in Los Angeles weakened to the lowest level against futures since March with supplies at a four-month high.

The spread widened for the third time in four days. Stockpiles of California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, climbed 3.4 percent to 5.77 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 9, according to data from the state Energy Commission. Carbob gasoline and blendstock inventories in Southern California are near the highest level in five years.

Carbob in Los Angeles weakened 2.5 cents versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange to a discount of 15 cents a gallon, the lowest level since March 12, according to data compiled by Bloomberg at 2:07 p.m. New York time. Prompt delivery fell 3.06 cents to $2.8289 a gallon.

The same fuel in San Francisco lost 2 cents to 17 cents a gallon below futures. The discount for Carbob in San Francisco versus the gasoline in Los Angeles narrowed 0.5 cent to 2 cents a gallon, the smallest in four days.

Chevron Corp.’s 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond refinery, the largest in Northern California, started putting feed into a process unit yesterday, a notice to Contra Costa County regulators showed. The refinery reported a unit shutdown a day earlier, a separate filing said.

Conventional gasoline in Portland, Oregon, a benchmark for the U.S. Pacific Northwest, was unchanged against futures at a discount of 3.5 cents a gallon. Its premium to Los Angeles Carbob widened 2.5 cents to 11.5 cents a gallon, the biggest in two weeks.

Portland Diesel

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland was unchanged against ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex at a discount of 4.5 cents a gallon. California-grade, or CARB, diesel in San Francisco and Los Angeles also held against futures at premiums of 7 cents and 4 cents, respectively.

Retail gasoline in California fell 0.7 cent to average $3.864 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the nation’s largest motoring organization, said today on its website.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles, narrowed 46 cents to $11.86 a barrel at 2:10 p.m. New York time. The spread, a rough indicator of refinery profitability, is the smallest in three days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net

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