Gasoline Falls as Refineries Return While Supplies Remain High

Gasoline fell, paring the biggest weekly gain since July, as refineries returned from seasonal maintenance while supplies are above normal.

Futures slipped 1 percent after climbing to $2.6837 a gallon yesterday from $2.5031 Nov. 7. Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Baton Rouge plant in Louisiana and Valero Energy Corp.’s Three Rivers refinery in Texas finished planned work. Gasoline supplies were 209.2 million barrels, 1.9 percent above the five-year average for this time of year.

“Over the course of five trading days, gasoline rallied nearly 20 cents. It’s not unusual for it to fall off,” said Andy Lebow, a New York-based senior vice president at Jefferies Bache LLC. “There’s probably some profit-taking, and there’s the expectation of higher production due to refineries returning from turnarounds.”

Gasoline for December delivery fell 2.6 cents to settle at $2.6577 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume for all contracts was 35 percent above the 100-day average at 3:24 p.m. Prices rose 4.1 percent this week, the largest gain since the period ended July 12.

Gasoline’s crack spread versus WTI shrank $1.17 to $17.78 a barrel. The fuel’s premium to Brent fell $1.21 to $2.33.

U.S. pump prices, averaged nationwide, rose 0.5 cent to $3.199 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website and are 23.9 cents below a year ago.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for December delivery advanced 0.83 cent to $2.9389 a gallon on trading volume that was 4.7 percent below the 100-day average.

ULSD’s premium over WTI widened 27 cents to $29.59 a barrel, the highest level since April. The fuel’s crack spread versus Brent widened 10 cents to $15.02.

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