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Gasoline Falls as Crude Slips While Summer Fuel Demand Wanes

August 30, 2013

(See EXTRA for more news on the Syrian conflict.)

 

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Gasoline fell as crude declined after British lawmakers refused to join the U.S. in a military strike against Syria and as the end of the U.S. summer driving season approaches.

Futures sank as much as 1.2 percent as the U.S. lost the support of Britain yesterday in acting against Syria and its suspected use of chemical weapons, lessening concern of an imminent strike that might embroil the Middle East and disrupt oil supplies. U.S. gasoline demand dipped to a five-week low in the seven days ended Aug. 23 and in June was the lowest for that month since 2001, government data show.

’’The market is waiting to see if the U.S. is willing to go it alone on Syria or will cobble together some amount of international support,’’ said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. "Gasoline has been under pressure since the EIA issued its June data yesterday."

Gasoline for September delivery fell 3.2 cents, or 1 percent, to $3.0344 a gallon at 10:09 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 7.2 percent below the 100-day average. Prices have declined 0.3 percent in August.

The Obama administration will release a public version of its intelligence assessment today, according to an administration official, who asked for anonymity because the publication hasn’t been officially announced.

West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery fell a second straight day, dropping 33 cents to $108.47 a barrel on the Nymex, after reaching a two-year high of $110.10 two days ago.

 

October Futures

 

September gasoline and diesel futures expire at the close of floor trading today. The more-actively traded October contract, which represents winter-grade gasoline, which can be blended from a wider range of components, increasing supply, slipped 1.42 cents to $2.9164 a gallon. Nymex floor trading will be closed on Sept. 2 for the Labor Day holiday.

"It’s indicative of the end of the driving season and the beginning of a period of lower demand," Lipow said.

The motor fuel’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude narrowed 34 cents to $13.95 a barrel. The fuel’s premium over Brent narrowed 68 cents to $7.25 a barrel.

Pump prices, averaged nationwide, rose 2.1 cents to $3.585 a gallon, the highest since Aug. 7, Heathrow, Florida-based AAA said today on its website. Retail prices are 24.1 cents below a year earlier, AAA data show.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel for September delivery fell 0.16 cent to $3.1833 a gallon on trading volume that was 20 percent below the 100-day average. Futures have risen 4.6 percent this month. The October contract declined 0.21 cent to $3.1862.

ULSD’s crack spread versus WTI widened 21 cents to $25.32 a barrel. The premium over Brent fell 11 cents to $18.64.

 

--Editors: David Marino, Bill Banker

 

To contact the reporter 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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