U.S. Base Oil Price Report


Following Chevron‘s posted price decreases last week, several other movements emerged, with ExxonMobil, HollyFrontier, Petro-Canada, Paulsboro, Excel Paralubes and Calumet communicating downward adjustments as well.

Chevron lowered its API Group II base oil postings by 25 cents per gallon on Nov. 13, and was closely followed by HollyFrontier, which decreased its Group I grades by 25 cents/gal on Nov. 19.

Sources reported that ExxonMobil also adjusted down all of its Group I, II and II+ posted prices by 25 cents/gal, effective Nov. 17.

Petro-Canada trimmed its Group II and II+ prices by 25 cents/gal on Nov. 19, but the Group II+ 65 cut and Group III oils remained intact.

Also on Nov. 19, Excel Paralubes reduced its Group II Pure Performance 70N, 80N, and 100N grades by 24 cents/gal, its PP 225N by 25 cents/gal, and its PP 600N by 26 cents/gal.

Paulsboro will be decreasing its Group I base oils by 25 cents/gal, with an effective date of Nov. 21.

Calumet will reduce prices on all its paraffinic grades by 25 cents/gal, effective Nov. 27.

There were no revisions reported for the rerefined base oils, or the Group III cuts at this time.

The downward adjustments on paraffinic base stocks were driven by sharp drops in crude oil and feedstock pricing over the last several weeks, together with ample supply of most grades.

Demand typically starts to weaken as the end-year holidays draw near, and this year has been no exception, with supplies heard to be outstripping requirements, and producers aiming to adjust prices to encourage orders.

While the market seemed to be sputtering along, sellers reported small bursts of discussions with customers, followed by quiet bouts of inactivity during which few cargoes changed hands. As the week wore on, trading was expected to decline due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 22.

On the naphthenic front, there were no price changes reported because conditions were different from those seen on the paraffinic front, and although demand has softened compared to last month, some grades appeared to be balanced-to-tight, according to sources.

Upstream, crude oil futures plummeted on Tuesday, and were close to their lowest finish in a year.

One of the factors contributing to the steep decline was that October oil inventory levels in the United States were above the five-year average, and the decline in Iranian crude exports has been less noticeable than anticipated.

Oil demand is also seasonally weak, and it appears that OPEC members are not too willing to support production cuts at their next meeting on Dec. 6. However, if crude prices continue to fall, there is more of a likelihood that OPEC would try to implement cuts, analysts conjectured.

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, West Texas Intermediate December futures settled at $53.43 per barrel on the CME/Nymex, down $2.26/bbl from $55.69/bbl on Nov. 13.

Brent futures closed at $62.53/bbl on the CME Tuesday afternoon, and had settled at $65.47/bbl on Nov. 13.

Light Louisiana Sweet crude wholesale spot prices settled at $65.54/bbl on Nov. 19, compared to $67.83/bbl on Nov. 12, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Low sulfur vacuum gas oil was at Dec WTI plus $15.75/bbl ($72.51/bbl) and high sulfur VGO was at crude plus $14.75/bbl ($71.51/bbl) on Nov. 19. By comparison, low sulfur VGO was hovering at $75.18/bbl and high sulfur VGO at $74.43/bbl on Nov. 12, according to data published by PetroChemWire.

Historic U.S. posted base oil prices and WTI and Brent crude spot prices are available for purchase inExcel format.

Related Topics

Base Oil Reports    Base Stocks    Other