Bloomberg News

Gasoline Gains on Retail Sales Rise, Midwest Refinery Outage

June 13, 2013

Gasoline rose as U.S. retail sales increased in May and storms in the Midwest caused units to shut at a refinery serving the Chicago area. Crack spreads widened.

Futures advanced as May retail sales rose 0.6 percent, the biggest jump in three months, Commerce Department data showed today. Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s Lemont, Illinois, refinery lost power to production units after a lightning strike yesterday. Pump prices in the Chicago area were $4.399 a gallon, 76.7 cents a gallon above the national average, according to data from AAA, the largest U.S. motoring organization.

“Gasoline got a bounce from the economic data and from Citgo,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “The Midwest is like a horror story.”

Gasoline for July delivery rose 1.69 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $2.827 a gallon at 9:46 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 7.9 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.

July gasoline’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate widened 85 cents to $22.99 a barrel, the first gain in five days. Gasoline’s premium over Brent gained 51 cents to $15.04.

Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.2 cent to $3.632 a gallon, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Prices are 9.3 cents above a year earlier.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for July delivery rose 0.74 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $2.9026 a gallon on trading volume that was 32 percent above the 100-day average.

The July ULSD contract’s crack spread versus WTI widened 43 cents to $26.15 a barrel. The premium over Brent gained 14 cents to $18.25.

To contact the reporters on this story: Barbara Powell in Dallas at bpowell4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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