The outlook for base oil markets is cloudy at the moment due to several uncertainties as the industry approaches what is normally a ramp-up to the spring driving season and an uptick in automotive engine oil changes.
Lubricant blenders across Europe, the Middle East and Africa are currently living with low inventories, which could boost purchasing trends in the near future. At the same time, prices for API Group I base stocks have fallen so far that they are discounted to diesel prices for the first time since late 2021. Group II prices are also at their lowest premium to diesel for almost one year. This will incentivize refiners to further cut base oil run rates to maximize production of diesel and other distillates
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