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Chicago Gasoline Slumps to One-Week Low on Higher Inventories

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Chicago gasoline weakened versus futures as area inventories grew to a three-week high and a refinery unit started up in Toledo, Ohio.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, in Chicago slipped 1.5 cents to a premium of 2 cents a gallon against futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:11 p.m. Ultra-low-sulfur diesel slid 0.5 cent to a premium of 2.75 cents a gallon.

Stockpiles of gasoline in the region, known as PADD 2, increased by 77,000 barrels to 47.8 million in the week ended Sept. 13, the highest since Aug. 23, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

BP Plc was in the process of restarting a coker Sept. 17 at its 160,000-barrel-a-day Toledo, Ohio, refinery, according to a person familiar with operations. Cokers convert residual oil into higher-value light products and feedstocks.

The 3-2-1 crack spread, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, fell for a fifth consecutive day, dropping 72 cents to $11.57 a barrel, the lowest since Feb. 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in Group 3, the region spanning from Tulsa, Oklahoma, north to Minnesota and North Dakota, dropped 1.25 cents to a discount of 7 cents a gallon. The same fuel on the Gulf Coast fell 0.5 cent to 13.25 cents a gallon below futures.

Carbob Prices

California-blend, or Carbob, gasoline in San Francisco was unchanged at a premium of 7.5 cents a gallon more than futures on the Nymex, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Carbob in Los Angeles strengthened by 0.5 cent to a premium of 11 cents a gallon. Conventional, 84-octane gasoline in Portland, Oregon, fell 0.4 cent to a premium of 12.5 cents.

California-blend diesel in Los Angeles weakened by 0.5 cent to a 0.5-cent-a-gallon premium to ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex. The fuel in San Francisco weakened by 0.5 cent to a premium of 2.5 cents.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland weakened by 0.5 cent to a discount of 3.5 cents to New York futures.

To contact the reporters on this story: Christine Harvey in New York at charvey32@bloomberg.net; 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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