Mexico pipeline problem eyed in U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline build

Jan 16 (Reuters) - Refined products traders said on Wednesday that distribution system problems in Mexico may explain the third straight record increase in U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline stockpiles.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the Gulf Coast gasoline inventory reached 90.96 million barrels last week, according to the EIA.

Across the United States, gasoline inventories hit 255.6 million barrels, the highest weekly level since February of 2017, EIA data shows.

Pipeline problems in Mexico have cut gasoline imports by 36 percent of what they were a year ago, traders said.

Mexico has imported 292,000 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline from the U.S. Gulf through the first 13 days of January, according to Matthew Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. This compares to January 2018's pace of 457,000 bpd. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Writing by Erwin Seba; Editing by David Gregorio)