Chicago Gasoline Hits 3-Month Low as Refiners Boost Rates

Chicago gasoline weakened to the lowest level in more than three months as area refineries processed more oil last week, signaling more production that may boost supply.

Conventional, 85-octane gasoline, or CBOB, in Chicago slid 9 cents to a discount of 32 cents a gallon versus futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest gap since March 1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg at 4:17 p.m.

Refineries in the U.S. Midwest, known as PADD 2, processed 3.17 million barrels a day of crude and other feedstocks in the week ended June 14, the most since May 3, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Inventories in the region climbed 507,000 barrels to 49.7 million barrels last week, a fourth consecutive weekly gain.

Supplies are poised to climb further as BP Plc’s Whiting, Indiana, refinery is said to be preparing the restart of a 250,000-barrel-a-day crude unit and as Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Joliet, Illinois, refinery continues its return from a plantwide turnaround. Phillips 66 also reported emissions because of startup activities at a hydrocracker at its Wood River, Illinois, plant.

The three refineries have the ability to process 1.01 million barrels a day, representing 27 percent of Midwest refining capacity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Chicago, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Texas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, fell $2.15 to $14.91 a barrel, the lowest level since Jan. 16. Chicago gasoline was 10 cents a gallon below the same fuel on the U.S. Gulf Coast, after reaching a $1.01 premium June 3.

Gulf Coast CBOB slipped 4 cents to 22 cents below Nymex futures.

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