A majority of paraffinic base oil producers have communicated posted price decreases over the last three weeks, with Paulsboro joining several others who had stepped out with announcements the previous week. The driving force behind the downward adjustments appeared to be softer crude oil and feedstock prices, along with slowing demand ahead of the last day of the year as consumers try to use up existing inventories and limit fresh purchases.
In the previous two weeks, Chevron, Motiva, Excel Paralubes, ExxonMobil, Calumet and SK Enmove announced posted price decreases between 15 cents per gallon and 50 cents/gal, depending on the grade. Once the initiatives are implemented, most API Group I grades would see 20-cent/gal decreases. A majority of suppliers would have decreased Group II grades by 15, 30, 35 and 50 cents/gal, with the heavier grades seeing the larger markdowns. Some Group II+ cuts would be lower by 10 cents/gal and Group III cuts by 15 cents/gal.