Midcontinent Gasoline Slumps as Processing Reaches Record High

U.S. Midcontinent gasoline weakened for a second day after a government report showed Midwest refineries processed the most crude oil on record last week, indicating increased production of refined products.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline in the Midcontinent, or Group 3 region, slid 2.75 cents to 42.75 cents a gallon below New York Mercantile Exchange futures at 4:18 p.m., the weakest since reaching a record low on Dec. 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Group 3 region includes the area north of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Minnesota and North Dakota.

The discount widened after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that Midwest boost crude-oil processing by 142,000 barrels to 3.69 million barrels a day in the week ended Dec. 6, the highest level in data going back to 1992. Motor fuel production in the region, known as PADD 2, climbed 64,000 barrels to 2.57 million barrels a day, a second consecutive advance, according to EIA data.

The 3-2-1 crack spread in Group 3, a rough measure of refining margins based on West Teas Intermediate oil in Cushing, Oklahoma, slid for a fifth consecutive day, falling 10 cents to $5.89 a barrel, according to Bloomberg data.

Gasoline in Group 2 traded at a discount of 18.5 cents a gallon to the same fuel on the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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