Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline strengthened for the first time in four days after Phillips 66 said it was carrying out maintenance in Louisiana and a government report showed stockpiles in the region declined.
Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, on the Gulf Coast gained 1.75 cents to a discount of 15.5 cents a gallon versus New York Mercantile Exchange futures at 1:48 p.m., the strongest since Sept. 13. Conventional, 87-octane gasoline added 1 cent to 13 cents a gallon below futures.
Inventories of gasoline in the region, known as PADD 3, dropped 142,000 barrels to 77.7 million in the week ended Sept. 13, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Distillate stockpiles slid 795,000 barrels to 41.2 million, after reaching the highest since June 7 a week earlier.
The decline in distillate inventories, including heating oil and diesel, was led by an increase in exports to Europe, according to a research note from Energy Aspects Ltd. “Anecdotal evidence” also suggests two to three tankers have left the Gulf Coast recently for the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region, the report showed.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel on the Gulf Coast was unchanged at 3.38 cents a gallon below Nymex futures.
The 3-2-1 crack spread on the Gulf, a rough measure of refining margins for gasoline and diesel based on West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma, increased 36 cents to $6.12 a barrel. The same spread for Light Louisiana Sweet Oil gained 56 cents to $5.32 a barrel, the first rise in three days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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