* LLS offered at $12.50 over WTI, Mars at $6.50 over
* Record WTI-Brent spread supports cash differentials
NEW YORK, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Light Louisiana Sweet LLS- and Mars sour MRS- were offered stronger early Thursday as the transatlantic arb widened further.
LLS was offered at $12.50 over West Texas Intermediate WTC-LLS, $1.10 higher than Wednesday’s late trade.
Mars was offered at $6.50 over WTI WTC-MRS-, $1 higher than Wednesday.
Prices are notional as wild moves in both the transatlantic Brent/WTI spread and the front month WTI spreads are seen sidelining some traders from buying at the beginning of the March period.
“All numbers are very sketchy due to the wild move in Brent/WTI and WTI/WTI,” said one Gulf Coast trader.
Trade has been slow as many of the northeastern traders out of the office, still digging out from a massive snowstorm.
The weakness in WTI - landlocked in Cushing, Oklahoma and the strength of Brent due to production problems and African unrest threatening similar grades has pushed the transatlantic spread wider than ever.
At mid-morning, the WTI/Brent spread CL-LCO1=R was $11.80 in favor of Brent. The WTI front-to-second month spread was $2.33 in favor of April.
lso in play were delays of a week or more in shipments of West African Qua Iboe [ID:nLDE70P26P], which competes directly with LLS, traders said. Market sources in Africa cited lower than expected production but were not specific about the cause.
On futures markets, the March contract for light, sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed $1.38 to $85.95 a barrel at settlement. March Brent LCOH1 was down 11 cents to $97.80.