U.S. Base Oil Price Report

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Excel Paralubes (Phillips 66/Flint Hill Resources), Petro-Canada, Avista Oil and Kleen Performance Products joined Chevron in seeking early February increases, which were said to be driven by the current supply/demand balance, together with steeper feedstock, transportation, and labor costs.

Excel Paralubes communicated that the Phillips 66 postings of API Group II Pure Performance base oils would be increased as of Feb. 2. The companys PP70N and 80N base oils will be marked up 22 cents per gallon; its PP110N cut 21 cents/gal; its PP225N grade 20 cents/gal; and its PP600N oil 16 cents/gal.

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Excel Paralubes also lifted Flint Hills Resources Group II postings, with the 70-HC and 75-HC grades moving up 22 cents/gal; the 100-HC cut 21 cents/gal; the 230-HC grade 20 cents/gal; and the 600-HC base oil 16 cents/gal as of Feb. 2.

Also on Feb. 2, Petro-Canada raised the price of its Group II 70N, 100N and 200N grades by 22 cents/gal, and its 350N and 600N base oils by 20 cents/gal. The producer did not revise postings of its Group II+ or Group III grades.

Avista Oil notified its customers that the company was increasing the price of its Group II ESR50 grade by 20 cents/gal, with an effective date of Feb. 5.

Kleen Performance Products lifted all viscosity postings by 20 cents/gal on Feb. 6. The new GII+ postings will be $4.01/gal for RHT 120 and $4.03/gal for RHT 240.

Chevron had initiated a price increase last week, only about three weeks after the company had first raised prices on Jan. 10. Chevrons Group II 100R and 220R base oils went up by 20 cents per gallon and its 600R grade by 15 cents/gal on Jan. 31.

Most suppliers reported that supply was balanced-to-tight against current demand, and Group I base oils were expected to see further tightening once HollyFrontier takes its 9,500 barrels per day Group I plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, down for a turnaround in the second half of February. However, the producer has built inventories to cover requirements during the shutdown and does not foresee any supply disruptions.

Unlike the domestic market, where base oil demand has seen some fluctuations this week, Mexican buyers have been actively inquiring for spot export cargoes. Suppliers in the U.S. expected product orders to get more consistent starting in March.

Upstream, crude oil futures slipped by more than one percent on Tuesday, extending falls from the previous session as global financial markets plunged on the heels of one of the biggest intra-day drops ever seen on Wall Street.

A historic fall in the Dow on Monday was followed by more heavy selling in Asia and Europe on Tuesday. The sudden plunges come after a strong rally for global stocks in 2017, CNN.com reported.

However, oil prices pared losses later on Tuesday as financial markets stabilized following a sell-off in equities.

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, West Texas Intermediate futures closed on the CME/Nymex at $63.39 per barrel, down $1.11 per barrel from $64.50/bbl on Jan. 30, and more than $3/bbl off their 2018 high.

Light Louisiana Sweet wholesale spot prices settled at $66.58 per barrel on Feb. 5, compared to $68.46 on Jan. 29, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent was trading at $66.86/bbl on the CME on Feb. 6, down $2.16/bbl from $69.02/bbl on Jan. 30.

Low sulfur vacuum gas oil was at Mar WTI plus $15.50/bbl ($79.65/bbl) and high sulfur VGO was at crude plus $13.75/bbl ($77.90/bbl) on Feb. 5. In comparison, low sulfur VGO was hovering at $82.06/bbl and high sulfur VGO at $80.31/bbl on Jan. 29, according to data published by PetroChemWire.

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

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