Markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are relatively quiet and could get quieter as some observers forecast demand to fall off rapidly during the fourth quarter.
Supply dynamics for all types of base oil have radically altered from the first half of this year, when API Group I was particularly tight and export cargoes were missing from the market. Now availability has increased from almost all producers, and most of the production that was lost or missing from the European market has returned. There are very few serious buyers, however, especially in the Group I export scene, where many of the traditional destinations have low demand indications.
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The Ukrainian appears no closer to resolution after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of four regions, following sham referenda. Ukraine has announced that it will re-take all territories annexed by Russia, and this – along with Russia’s call-up of 300,000 more troops – suggests a longer war than might have been anticipated a couple of months ago.