The end of the Lunar New Year holidays and a need to replenish stocks were expected to revitalize a muffled Asian base oils market. Buyers had postponed purchases on hopes that prices would soften after the festive period as values of several grades had been under pressure before the holidays. A slightly long supply and demand balance continued to weigh on prices, but suppliers appeared reluctant to lower prices as feedstock values have edged up.
Crude oil prices hit their highest levels since early December last week on expectations that Chinese oil demand would improve following the lifting of stringent COVID lockdowns and restrictions. The celebration of the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival and the temporary migration of millions of Chinese to their hometowns were expected to provide a boost to fuel and lubricants consumption.
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