Gasoline futures slipped before the Energy Information Administration reports on last week’s U.S. oil inventories. Crack spreads gained.
Prices sank as much as 0.5 percent before the report’s 10:30 a.m. release in Washington. The EIA will probably report that gasoline stockpiles fell 1 million barrels, according to the median estimate of 12 analysts in a survey by Bloomberg. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday a drop of 914,000 barrels.
“We saw inventories drop in the API report and now we’re going to look for confirmation of these changes,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.
April-delivery gasoline fell 1.14 cents to $3.1368 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 38 percent above the 100-day average at 9:55 a.m.
The April contract’s premium over West Texas Intermediate crude on Nymex widened 14 cents to $41.54 a barrel, and gained 19 cents to $20.80 over Brent oil on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
The survey projected that the EIA will report that supplies of distillates, including diesel and heating oil, declined 1 million barrels last week. The API reported a drop of 1.69 million barrels.
Heating oil for March delivery declined 0.16 cent to $2.9714 a gallon on volume that was 34 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 1 cent to $3.727 a gallon, AAA said today on its website. It was the seventh consecutive drop. Prices, which have risen 13 percent this year, are 3.7 cents below a year earlier. Prices in 2012 peaked on April 4 at $3.936 after rising every day but one from March 9.
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