Chicago Gasoline Near 2-Month High on PBF Toledo FCC Fire

Chicago gasoline strengthened to the highest level in almost two months after a fire at PBF Energy Inc.’s Toledo, Ohio, plant and on lower supplies as refinery activity slowed.

PBF is investigating yesterday’s fire in a catalytic cracker at the 170,000-barrel-a-day refinery, said Olivia Summons, a company spokeswoman, who declined to say whether the facility is operating at reduced rates. There were no injuries and PBF is “unable to speculate” on the damage, she said.

Midwest refiners processed 3.29 million barrels a day of crude and other feedstock last week, the least since Nov. 23, The Energy Information Administration reported yesterday. Inventories of motor fuel in the Midwest, known as PADD 2, dropped 278,000 barrels to 53.4 million, a third consecutive weekly retreat and the lowest seasonal level since 2011, the data showed.

Conventional gasoline to be blended with ethanol, or CBOB, in Chicago advanced 7.5 cents to 13 cents a gallon below futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 2:44 p.m., the narrowest gap since Dec. 7, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel in the Midwest, or Group 3 region, rose 1.25 cents to 1.25 cents below futures. Distillate supplies in the Midwest dropped 1.07 million barrels to 30.3 million last week, the first decline in seven weeks, EIA data showed.

Refinery Margins

The 3-2-1 crack spread in the Midwest, a measure of refining profitability based on West Texas Intermediate and ultra-low-sulfur diesel, gained 6.04 cents to $25.11 a barrel at 2:19 p.m.

On the Gulf Coast, the 3-2-1 spread, using WTI in Cushing and spot prices for distillate and gasoline, rose 21.8 cents to $25.812 a barrel.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline slipped 2.62 cents in the region to trade at a discount of 21 cents to futures, while ultra-low-sulfur diesel gained 0.12 cent to 1.75 cents a gallon above heating oil futures.

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