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Gasoline Slips as Delta Trainer Plant Starts Cracker

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline retreated after a report that an East Coast refinery restarted a production unit that makes gasoline distributed in the region.

Futures fell 0.7 percent from a seven-day high after Delta Air Lines Inc.’s Monroe Energy LLC subsidiary said it’s operating the fluid catalytic cracker at its Trainer, Pennsylvania, refinery after unplanned repairs. The 185,000-barrel-a-day plant serves the Central Atlantic, which includes the New York Harbor delivery point for Nymex product futures.

“It was supply outages that provided support to gasoline in the first place and now it’s the unwinding of that support,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil market strategist at Energy Aspects Ltd., a research company in London.

Gasoline for November delivery fell 1.71 cents to settle at $2.6337 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume for all contracts was 14 percent below the 100-day average at 3:01 p.m. Prices were little changed this month, dropping 0.1 cent.

The more actively traded December contract dropped 3.46 cents to $2.587 a gallon. November gasoline and diesel contracts expired today.

Phillips 66 said it completed maintenance at its 146,000-barrel-a-day Borger, Texas, refinery.

“These refinery issues aren’t as bad as people thought they would be,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude narrowed $1.06 to $12.27 a barrel. The fuel’s spread versus Brent slipped 43 cents to a 19-cent discount.

Pump Prices

U.S. retail pump prices, averaged nationwide, were unchanged at $3.279 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 24.2 cents below a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for November delivery fell 1.08 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.9678 a gallon on trading volume that was 9.4 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have declined 0.1 percent this month. December futures dropped 2.29 cents to $2.9539.

ULSD’s premium over WTI declined 57 cents to $27.68 a barrel. The spread versus Brent widened 6 cents to $15.22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Barbara Powell in Houston at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

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

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