The US Gulf Coast sweet-sour crude oil spread — which represents Light Louisiana Sweet over sour benchmark Mars — is at its narrowest point since late April, with the WTI-Brent spread returning to 2018 averages after spiking wider in May and June. The 10-day moving average LLS-Mars spread was $3.12/b at the end of last week, having not been narrower since three months earlier when the spread was at or less than $3/b, S&P Global Platts data shows. The 2018 average is about $3.55/b and has fluctuated between $2.60/b on the narrow end seen on April 17 and $6.20/b at its peak on June 24. That sweet-sour peak coincided with a wider Brent-WTI spread and caused LLS differentials to spike at a faster rate than those of Mars. A light sweet grade, LLS tends to react with better fundamentals for US crude exports, the majority of which is light crude, with medium sour Mars seeing sporadic exports that mostly flow to Asia and South America. However, the Brent-WTI spread narrowed sharply in July, causing US Gulf Coast crude oil values to collapse. The 10-day moving average Platts Brent-WTI Houston swaps spread was minus $5.71/b on Friday, down by about more… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center