Gasoline futures fell and crack spreads narrowed as refineries in Louisiana and California returned from planned and unplanned maintenance outages.
Futures retreated as much as 0.9 percent. The fuel’s premium over June West Texas Intermediate declined $1.21 to $24.54 a barrel, while the spread versus Brent narrowed 79 cents to $14.79. Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Chalmette plant in Louisiana completed maintenance on its fluid catalytic cracker, and Chevron Corp. said last week it expects to bring the Richmond site in California to full rates over the coming days.
“We are seeing refineries come back up from maintenance or other issues in the past few weeks,” said Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston. “We might be in store for a few more weeks of middling gasoline prices until we see a real pop in demand”
Gasoline for May delivery fell 1.98 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.8151 a gallon at 9:53 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange on volume that was 33 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, was unchanged at $3.50 a gallon, AAA said on its website today.
Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for May delivery dropped 1.1 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $2.8902 a gallon on the Nymex. Trading volume was 42 percent below the 100-day average.
ULSD’s crack spread versus June West Texas Intermediate crude fell 89 cents to $26.49 a barrel. The spread versus Brent decreased 45 cents to $16.77.
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