Steady demand and adequate availability of most base oil grades supported generally stable spot pricing in Asia. Both buyers and sellers were keeping an eye on crude oil and feedstock prices, as higher values would impact base oil prices in the weeks ahead. A majority of April business has been finalized, and participants were already working on May and early June cargoes, but some buyers were holding off on purchases as they waited for a clearer price direction.
While most prices were relatively unchanged from the previous week because conditions have been quite stable, there were some grades that have come under downward pressure as demand has slowed down and supplies have started to mount. Within the API Group I category, bright stock was experiencing more sluggish consumption than other grades, partly because both buyers’ and suppliers’ inventories were plentiful, particularly in Southeast Asia. This was perhaps the result of a slowdown during the observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan from March 22 to April 20 in a number of countries of the region.