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Chicago RBOB hits eight-month high against CBOB; Group 3 drops


RBOB rose to a premium of 17 cents/gal over CBOB in Chicago on Tuesday,its highest premium since it touched the same level on August 2, according toPlatts data.

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The jump also put Chicago RBOB 3.5 cents/gal over NYMEX May RBOB, itshighest differential since it was plus 5 cents/gal on February 24, before theroll to the April NYMEX contract.

The differential between RBOB and CBOB rose rapidly in the past twoweeks, climbing from only 5 cents/gal on March 20.

Market sources had said some of the climb could be attributed to a dropin RBOB production in the region, but the primary cause was the switch toVOC-controlled summer-grade RBOB.

"They are making VOC-controlled RBOB now for tank conversion later," onebroker said.

In Group 3, V-grade suboctane gasoline fell to $2.7199/gal, its lowestflat price since it hit $2.694/gal on February 13.

Group 3 had been largely range bound since last week, with differentialsrunning from NYMEX minus 14.25 cents/gal to minus 16 cents/gal since March 24,in part due to a lack of trading activity.

A second broker said he could not tell why V-grade had failed to riseTuesday, with Chicago and the Gulf Coast both gaining. Sources offered mixedviews on whether the RVP shift in the Gulf Coast played any role, with onetrader pointing out that 7.8 RVP gasoline sees only modest trading at thistime of year.

--Travis Whalen, by Lisa Miller,