U.S. Base Oil Price Report


Reports that Motiva, ExxonMobil, Calumet, HollyFrontier, and Paulsboro Refining would be increasing posted prices emerged this week, following similar upward movements by other paraffinic base oil producers.

Motivas API Group II STAR 4, 6 and 12 grades and Group III postings were heard to have been lifted by 20 cents per gallon on Feb. 13.

Sources also said that ExxonMobils Group I and II/II+ prices would move up by 20 cents/gal, with the exception of the Group I SN600 cut and bright stock, which will be raised 15 cents/gal as of Feb. 16.

Also on Feb. 16, Calumet will increase prices on all paraffinic Group I and Group II products; the producers 325-vis and lighter grades will increase by 20 cents/gal, while those heavier than the 325-vis grade will increase by 15 cents/gal.

Along similar lines, HollyFrontier will be raising its Group I SN70 through SN 250 oils by 20 cents/gal, and SN525 through bright stock by 15 cents/gal, also with an effective date of Feb. 16.

Paulsboro will be lifting its Group I base oils by 20 cents/gal on Feb. 21, although its SN600 and bright stock will be increased 15 cents/gal on the same date. These price adjustments will not be reflected on the price table below until next week, when they go into effect.

All of these increases come on the heels of Chevrons price hike implemented during the last week of January, which the company initiated not long after most paraffinic and naphthenic producers had completed a series of price hikes in early January.

The latest round of hikes has resulted in postings edging up by 15 to 22 cents/gal, depending on the grade and the supplier.

The mark-ups were heard to have been prompted by firm crude oil, feedstock, transportation and labor costs, and received further support from a balanced-to-tight market scenario.

Meanwhile, spot buying interest for Group I base oils from Mexico was heard to be quite steady, while market activity in Brazil has slowed down due to the Carnival holidays.

Upstream, crude oil futures settled lower for a second straight day following a monthly report by the International Energy Agency that showed higher U.S. oil output levels, which could undermine OPECs efforts to rebalance the market.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, West Texas Intermediate futures closed on the CME/Nymex at $59.19 per barrel, down $4.20 per barrel from $63.39/bbl on Feb. 6.

Light Louisiana Sweet wholesale spot prices settled at $61.66 per barrel on Feb. 12, compared to $66.58 on Feb. 5, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent was trading at $62.72/bbl on the CME on Feb. 13, down $4.14/bbl from $66.86/bbl on Feb. 6.

Low sulfur vacuum gas oil was at March WTI plus $13.75/bbl ($73.04/bbl) and high sulfur VGO was at crude plus $12.75/bbl ($72.04/bbl) on Feb. 12. In comparison, low sulfur VGO was hovering at $79.65/bbl and high sulfur VGO at $77.90/bbl on Feb. 5, 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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