Steep crude oil and feedstock prices, along with a snug supply situation continued to exert upward pressure on base oil prices in Asia, with spot numbers edging up again this week. Downstream lubricant and finished products manufacturers noted that it had been difficult to pass the increases down the supply chain and that various economic conditions in each country had impacted lubricant demand, hampering the implementation of price markups.
International benchmark crude oil futures jumped early in the week on news that European Union leaders had reached an agreement to ban 90% of seaborne Russian crude imports by the end of the year. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, noted that the move would immediately hit 75% of Russian oil imports, hurting one of the country’s main sources of income. Hungary was an exception as the country is a major user of Russian oil and its leader, Viktor Orban, remained on friendly terms with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.