October 3rd, 2012

Gasoline Futures – U.S. gasoline prices at the pump are poised to drop by year end, if history is any guide, as refineries resume production, Europe exports more fuel to the East Coast and Americans drive less.

Prices at service stations may fall about 6.3 percent to $3.54 a gallon, according to eight years of seasonal data compiled by Bloomberg. Gasoline deliveries to the U.S. from Europe may rise 35 percent, according to the median of eight estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. Demand has declined an average of 3.6 percent from July through December during the past five years, Energy Department data show.

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September 28th, 2012

Gasoline futures rose to a five-month high as refinery maintenance in the Atlantic Basin stoked concerns about supplies in New York Harbor.

Gasoline prices rose as refineries in Canada, Wales and the Netherlands that supply the U.S. East Coast reduced fuel production. Supplies in the region, which includes New York Harbor, the delivery point for futures contracts, are the lowest in almost four years, Energy Department data show.

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September 25th, 2012

Gasoline advanced as U.S. home prices rose more than expected in July and as another report may show American consumer confidence climbed last month.

Gasoline futures gained as the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 1.2 percent from July 2011, the biggest 12-month jump since August 2010, a report from the group showed today in New York. The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence probably grew to 63.2 in September from 60.6 in August, according to a Bloomberg survey.

“The housing data is giving us a little bit of a boost,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “The consumer confidence is expected to be higher and that should increase demand expectations.”

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April 12th, 2012

Gasoline Futures – New York gasoline strengthened as European prices rose for the fuel and after imports to the U.S. East Coast declined.

Eurobob gasoline for loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp traded from $1,158 to $1,174 a metric ton, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That’s up from $1,148 to $1,160 yesterday. Gasoline imports to the East Coast fell 33 percent to 506,000 barrels a day last week, according to the Energy Department.

The discount for conventional gasoline to be blended with ethanol, or CBOB, in New York Harbor narrowed 1 cent to 1.25 cents a gallon versus futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:48 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Prompt delivery rose 5.52 cents to $3.3282 a gallon.

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April 5th, 2012

Gasoline futures headed for its first weekly drop in two months as stockpiles of the motor fuel in Northwest Europe reached a two-month high, increasing the supply available for export.

Gasoline futures sank 1.1 percent as gasoline stockpiles in independent storage in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp, Europe’s oil-trading hub, rose to the highest level since Feb. 2, according to PJK International BV. Inventories along the U.S. East Coast rose 165,000 barrels last week as imports jumped 53 percent, the Energy Department reported yesterday. Demand over the past four weeks was 3.8 percent below a year earlier.

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March 19th, 2012

Gasoline futures rose to a 10-month high on speculation that refinery closures because of low margins and seasonal maintenance will lower supply as peak driving season approaches.

Gasoline futures advanced as Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) said today that it will idle its Aruba refinery because it’s losing money. The 235,000-barrel-a-day plant supplies feedstocks to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners for further upgrading into gasoline and diesel.

“It produces feedstocks that are processed in other refineries,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston. “And the market is reacting to continuing refinery maintenance on the Gulf Coast.”

Gasoline futures for April delivery rose 1.09 cents, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $3.3678 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement for the front-month contract since May 10.

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February 22nd, 2012

Gasoline rose to the highest level since July after Iran denied nuclear inspectors access to a military base, adding to concern that global oil supply will be disrupted, and on a report that demand increased.

Gasoline futures advanced for the fourth time in five days as Iran prevented International Atomic Energy Agency officials from visiting the Parchin base during two days of talks that ended yesterday. MasterCard Inc. (MA) said U.S. gasoline consumption rose 3.4 percent last week to 8.28 million barrels a day.

“The market was confirming what we had already expected, that those talks were going nowhere,” Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago, said by phone. “If the Iranians are going to continue along this path, we know this path is going to lead to a conflict.”

Gasoline futures for March-delivery rose 1.75 cents, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $3.0877 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the highest price since July 29. Gasoline has gained 15 percent in 2012.

After the inspectors were refused permission to visit the base, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told state television that officials discussed grounds for cooperation and further talks will be held. Iran is OPEC’s second-largest producer, behind Saudi Arabia.

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February 21st, 2012

Gasoline futures rose as oil traded near the highest price in nine months after euro-area finance ministers agreed on a second bailout for Greece.

Gasoline futures touched a nine-month high as crude gained as much as 2.1 percent. European finance ministers approved 130 billion euros ($173 billion) in aid for Greece by tapping into European Central Bank profits and coaxing investors into providing more debt relief to shield the region from a default.

“It’s very much the Greek situation and the stability it brings to the markets,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, said by phone. “Now we can focus on the continuing improving data set that we’ve been getting in the U.S.”

Gasoline futures for March-delivery rose 3.84 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.054 a gallon at 11:57 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after touching $3.0593, the highest intraday price since Aug. 2. Prices gained 1.4 percent last week and are up 14 percent so far this year.

Greece’s debt may still balloon to 160 percent of gross domestic product in a worst-case scenario, analysis by the International Monetary Fund and European officials indicated.

Prices also gained as an Iranian military commander said Iran would consider taking pre-emptive action in response to threats, according to the state-run Fars news agency.

“We will no more wait to see enemy action against us,” Fars quoted Mohammad Hejazi, deputy head of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces for Logistic and Industrial Research, as saying in an interview.

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February 16th, 2012

Gasoline futures rose to a six-month high after unplanned outages at Gulf Coast refineries threatened to curb supplies at a time when production of the fuel typically increases in anticipation of the summer driving season.

Gasoline futures gained after Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Beaumont, Texas, refinery took a fluid catalytic cracker offline for repairs yesterday and Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) experienced a partial power failure at the Garyville, Louisiana, plant, resulting in malfunctions in several units. Sunoco Inc. plans to shut its Philadelphia plant by July.

“We have a number of refining outages on the Gulf Coast and there’s still some concern that Sunoco is going to shut the Philadelphia refinery and tighten supplies for the summer,” Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston, said by phone.

Gasoline futures for March-delivery rose 4.04 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $3.0471 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest price since Aug. 1. Futures are up 13 percent this year. Gasoline is the third-best performer this year in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI commodity index.

Exxon expects some impact to production from the Beaumont outage, Kathleen Jackson, a company spokeswoman, said yesterday in an e-mail. Sunoco Inc. (SUN) announced Sept. 6 that it may shut main process units at Philadelphia if no buyer is found.

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February 9th, 2012

Gasoline futures surged to a five-month high as Greece approved measures to ward off default, easing concern that European demand may decline, while refinery shutdowns increased speculation that supplies may be curtailed.

The best performing energy commodity this year rose for the fourth time in five sessions as Greek political leaders reached a deal that may lead to the country’s second rescue in two years. Hovensa LLC and Petroplus Holdings AG are closing plants this month in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Germany.

“We’re up on the Greek austerity deal, and concern about refinery issues is keeping the market on edge,” said Phil Flynn, vice president of research at PFGBest in Chicago.

Gasoline futures for March delivery rose 3.76 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $3.0128 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest settlement for the front-month contract since Aug. 31. Prices have risen 12 percent this year.

“I think it can go all the way up to $3.20,” said Michael Smith, president of T&K Futures & Options in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. “Gasoline has been a bullish buy since making a double bottom on Dec. 16 and Dec. 19. That’s what a real bull market looks like, higher lows and higher highs.”

A double bottom refers to the level a commodity drops to twice in succession, a technical indicator that the futures have buying support at that price and may rebound.

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos called European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to tell him “an agreement has been reached,” Draghi said at a press conference today in Frankfurt.

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