Gasoline Declines Amid Higher Gulf Supplies as Pipeline Returns

Apr 01, 2014 4:16 pm ET

April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline futures fell for a third day amid ample supplies of the fuel on the U.S. Gulf Coast and after the return of a key pipeline to the Northeast.

Prices dropped 1.7 percent. Supplies in PADD 3, the Gulf Coast region, were 6.3 percent above the five-year seasonal average for the week ending March 21, Energy Department data show. Colonial Pipeline Co. restarted Line 3 on March 27 after repairs, shipping 885,000 barrels a day to the New York Harbor area from North Carolina.

“Supplies in PADD 3 are extremely high,” Stephen Schork, the president of Schork Group Inc. in Villanova, Pennsylvania, said by phone today. “We’ll be able to ship those gallons up on Colonial and get them into the harbor.”

May-delivery gasoline declined 4.82 cents to settle at $2.8697 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Volume was 8.5 percent below the 100-day average at 3:35 p.m.

Refineries are finishing seasonal maintenance, including Phillips 66’s 239,000 barrel-a-day Lake Charles complex in Louisiana, which is no longer performing planned work, Dennis Nuss, a Houston-based spokesman, said today by e-mail. First- quarter refinery work was to peak in March, according to a forecast by CIBC World Markets Inc.

“We are winding down the winter maintenance season,” Schork said. “We’re going to be coming back and producing, boiling more oil, as some of these refineries come back online.”

Crack Spreads

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate fell 18 cents to $20.79 a barrel. The premium to European benchmark Brent gained 12 cents to $14.91.

The average U.S. pump price rose 0.1 cent to $3.56 a gallon, the 10th consecutive increase, according to data from Heathrow, Florida-based AAA.

Ultra low sulfur diesel declined 4.2 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $2.8878 a gallon on volume that was 25 percent below the 100- day average.

The fuel’s crack spread versus WTI crude widened 8 cents to $21.55 a barrel. The premium over Brent rose 38 cents to $15.67.