Spot base oil prices in Asia continued to face downward pressure on weaker demand and ample supplies, although ongoing and imminent turnarounds may limit spot availability in coming weeks. Buyers were hesitant to acquire large quantities because they preferred not to be holding large inventories when prices were moving down, while suppliers appeared more amenable to revising values down, but only by small amounts. Lackluster demand in other regions was turning export transactions to manage the product overhang more challenging. Volatile crude oil prices added an element of uncertainty to the market outlook.
The Brent crude average price has fallen significantly from last year’s average at $100.93 per barrel, and economic uncertainties combined with geopolitical tensions were keeping prices near $70-$75/bbl.