U.S. cash crude – Thin market, Mars up a tick

* Mars sells 5 cents over WTI, up 5 cents

* No deals for Poseidon as traders digest new assay

* Few early deals as traders trickle back from event

HOUSTON, Dec 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Mars sour (MRS-: ) sold for 5
cents over West Texas Intermediate (CLc1: ) in slow early dealing
Friday as traders trickled back from New Orleans event.

Poseidon sour (PSD-: ) appeared to strengthen as the market
digested a new assay arising from a dispute over Poseidon
quality, but no deals were reported, traders said.

Poseidon was bid at 60 cents under WTI against no offers.
Mars was bid at Even against offers at 35 cents. The spread was
tighter than the 90-cent to $1.20 difference of recent weeks.

The difference was still greater than the historic
near-parity between the two grades, and traders said it will
take time to absorb a new assay showing Poseidon improving, not

Poseidon dealt at 45 cents under WTI late Thursday.

“We need to make sure it’s true,” one trader said of the
new assay.

All grades will stay strong as refiners move to capture
improved margins, said Carl Holland of CRH Energy, citing
higher run rates in this week’s government inventory report.

Cheaper sours such as Mars and Poseidon should benefit more
than sweets like Light Louisiana Sweet (LLS-: ) in this
environment, Holland said.

Generic heating oil crack spreads (CL-HO=R: ) were up 15
cents to $15.38 a barrel early Friday, Reuters data showed.
Gasoline cracks were down 56 cents but still over $9.
(RB-CL=R: )

On futures markets, prices rose then fell early Friday on
dollar strengthening due to concern about the European economy
and an interest rate increase in China. [ID:nL3E6NA08H]

January light, sweet crude on the New York Mercantile
Exchange (CLF1: ) was down 48 cents to $87.89 at late morning.
North Sea Brent (LCOF1: ) was down 18 cents at $90.79.

Weaker NYMEX WTI against Brent (CL-LCO1=R: ) offered lift to
cash crude differentials, but the January-February WTI spread
was a non-factor as it stayed in the minus 50-cent range.

Traders, brokers and other market participants attended an
industry event Thursday night in New Orleans and not all were
back at their desks early Friday.


See (REF/MARGIN1: ) for Reuters’ generic refining margins

See (CL-1=R: ) for the WTI front/second month spread

See (CL-LCO1=R: ) for front month WTI/Brent futures spread

See (BFO-: ) for Reuters’ assessment of Dated Brent

See (0#FRT-: ) for Reuters assessed tanker rates

See (BRNV: ) for assessed domestic crude differentials

See (PPGR: ) for outright U.S. cash crude prices

See [REF/US] for a list of U.S. refinery outages

See [EIA/S] for U.S. EIA inventory reports and forecasts

See [CRU/TU] for recent cash crude deals

(Reporting by Janet McGurty and Bruce Nichols; Editing by
David Gregorio)

U.S. cash crude – Thin market, Mars up a tick