While business has yet to pick up in earnest in Asia, there were signs that buyers were gradually returning to the market, although they seemed to prefer smaller cargoes until a clearer price picture emerged. Prices stabilized for some grades as producers were trying to maintain offer levels, despite buyers’ lower bids, but other cuts succumbed to downward pressure. Yet there were a couple of grades that experienced a lift on tighter availability. Volatile crude oil and distillates values also impacted base oil pricing and refiners’ decisions on how to allocate feedstocks.
Crude oil prices have experienced swings over the last few days as they were swayed by economic data and demand prospects. Futures jumped by 3% on Wednesday on an improved global economic outlook and concerns about the impact on worldwide crude supply of the international sanctions on Russian oil.