Supply increased in the United States market as a result of a seasonal decline in demand and fairly steady production rates at most base oil plants. Two plants were undergoing a turnaround – one on the paraffinic side, and one on the naphthenic side – while a third producer was ramping up rates following an extended shutdown, which had led to a tightening of certain grades. The impact of the shutdowns was limited due to lower consumption levels and ample inventories at most suppliers’ facilities.
According to reports, Motiva has taken its API Group II/III unit in Port Arthur, Texas, down for a turnaround concurrently with maintenance work at several of the refinery’s feedstock units. The base oil plant was expected to restart at the end of the month. The producer had built inventories to cover requirements during the outage, but availability of the company’s Group II 600N was heard to be limited at best, although the company’s customers were receiving all the volumes they needed. Other producers’ supply of this grade had been tight in previous weeks, but a return to higher production rates at the producers’ base oil plants has allowed for more product to come into the market.
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