U.S. West Gasoline Strengthens as Supplies Fall to Seasonal Low

Spot gasoline on the U.S. West Coast surged against futures after the Energy Information Administration said regional stockpiles of the motor fuel dropped to a record low for this time of year.

Gasoline supplies in the West, known as the PADD 5 region, fell for the 12th straight week to 25.9 million barrels in the seven days ended April 26, the least since Aug. 10, and a seasonal low in data going back to 1990, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm.

California-blend gasoline, or Carbob, in Los Angeles strengthened 8 cents versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange to a premium of 15 cents a gallon at 4:25 p.m. East Coast time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The same fuel in San Francisco advanced 6.5 cents to 16 cents a gallon above futures. San Francisco’s premium to the Los Angeles fuel shrank 1.5 cents to 1 cent a gallon, the narrowest level since March 21.

Conventional gasoline in Portland, Oregon, surged 14 cents versus Nymex futures to a premium of 34 cents a gallon, the highest level since October.

Low-sulfur diesel in Portland strengthened 0.25 cent to a premium of 3 cents a gallon against ultra-low-sulfur diesel futures on the Nymex.

California-blend, or CARB, diesel in San Francisco weakened by 1 cent to 6.75 cents a gallon below ULSD futures. The same fuel in Los Angeles strengthened by 0.12 cent to a discount of 3.63 cents a gallon versus futures.

Distillate fuel oil stockpiles on the West Coast climbed a fourth week to 12.4 million barrels, the EIA said.

The 3-2-1 crack spread of Alaska North Slope crude, Carbob in Los Angeles and CARB diesel in Los Angeles rose for a second day, gaining $2.10 to $15.98 a barrel at 4:27 p.m. New York time. The spread, a rough indicator of refinery margins, is down 45 percent from this year’s high of $29.09 a barrel on Feb. 5.