Gasoline Futures Decline With Inventories Above Seasonal Average

Gasoline fell in New York amid higher-than-average inventories and increased production rates.

Gasoline slid 1.4 percent as supplies were 6.1 percent above the five-year seasonal average at 217.3 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 11, Energy Information Administration data show. The refinery utilization rate probably rose 0.3 percentage point to 86.5 percent in the week ended Oct. 18, based on the median of eight analyst estimates before an EIA report tomorrow.

“‘The market is concerned that as we build distillate and runs increase, we may add to the surplus in gasoline,’’ said Andrew Lebow, a senior vice president at Jefferies Bache LLC in New York. ‘‘The key for gasoline is we’re going to need to have exports pick up.’’

Gasoline for November delivery fell 3.71 cents to settle at 2.6167 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 11.8 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.

The fuel’s differential to European benchmark Brent crude slid from a premium to a discount of 6.9 cents a barrel, based on settlement prices. Gasoline’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude, a rough measure of refining profit, fell 14 cents to $12.10 a barrel, after more than doubling from $5.68 on Oct. 4.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, fell 0.5 cent to $3.344 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 32.1 cents below a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for September delivery sank 1.33 cents to close at $2.9973 a gallon on the Nymex on volume that was 3.2 percent below the 100-day average.

ULSD’s premium versus WTI widened 86 cents to $28.09 a barrel after touching $28.43, the highest level since April 24. The crack spread against Brent fell 69 cents to $15.97.