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Gulf Crude Strengthens as China Economy Boosts Foreign Demand

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude strengthened the most in more than three weeks as China’s growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters, indicating stronger demand for waterborne oils.

Heavy Louisiana Sweet’s premium to West Texas Intermediate rose $1.30 to a premium of $2.10 a barrel at 4:03 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It would be the largest gain since Sept. 25.

Gulf crudes including Heavy Louisiana Sweet compete with foreign oils priced against European benchmark Brent for space in U.S. refineries. Brent’s premium over WTI rose as high as $9.04 a barrel today, the highest intraday level since Oct. 14.

Gross domestic product in China, the world’s largest oil-importing nation, rose 7.8 percent in the July-September period from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing. It’s the first time growth has accelerated in three quarters.

The growth indicated higher demand for oils that can be shipped to China. WTI in Cushing, Oklahoma, is landlocked, and U.S. crudes are largely prohibited from being exported.

Light Louisiana Sweet strengthened by 30 cents to a premium of $1.80. Mars Blend, a medium-density, high-sulfur crude from the Gulf of Mexico, was unchanged at a discount of $4.35.

Crude from the Southern Green Canyon was unchanged at a discount of $7.50. Poseidon crude rose 45 cents to $4.80 below WTI.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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