Gasoline fell amid below-average volume, capping a third consecutive weekly decline on speculation production and supply will be ample to meet declining demand after the end of driving season.
Futures dropped 3.1 percent this week and are down 11 percent in September after the end of peak demand season. Refiners are switching to making winter-grade fuel, which uses a wider range of components. Gasoline’s premium versus West Texas Intermediate crude has slid 41 percent this month.
“Winter-grade margins were particularly good a few weeks back and now they’re not and we’re going into a seasonally low period of demand,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil market strategist at Energy Aspects Ltd., a research company in London.
Gasoline for October delivery fell 1.3 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $2.6842 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 30 percent below the 100-day average at 2:43 p.m.
The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude widened $1.18 to $8.07 a barrel, down from $13.73 on Aug 30. The fuel’s premium over Brent slipped 97 cents to $2.81.
Pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 0.3 cent to $3.491 a gallon, 35.5 cents below a year ago, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices have fallen 18 consecutive days to the lowest level since July 8.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for October delivery rose 0.02 cent to settle at $3.0042 a gallon on trading volume that was 23 percent below the 100-day average. Prices fell 3.5 percent this week and are down 4.3 percent in September.
ULSD’s crack spread versus WTI widened $1.73 to $21.51 a barrel. The premium over Brent fell 49 cents to $17.