U.S. Base Oil Price Report


Reports that ExxonMobil would be increasing posted prices surfaced this week, along with Petro-Canada, HollyFrontier, Avista Oil, Calumet and Paulsboro. Petro-Canada also implemented an increase on its API Group II base oils last week. On the naphthenic front, Cross Oil announced an increase for its pale oils.

Excel Paralubes confirmed that it lifted its Group II Pure Performance prices by 15 cents/gal across the board, effective April 11.

Avista Oil marked up the price of its Group II+ base oil by 20 cents/gal as of April 15. Orders already in the system that shipped on or before April 15 would be billed at the previous price, the company added.

Petro-Canada increased the price of its Group II cuts by 15 cents/gal last week, and will only lift the price of its Group II+ 100N by 30 cents/gal on April 18. The producer is still evaluating its Group III position.

HollyFrontier will increase Group I postings by 30 cents/gal on its low viscosity grades (70-150), 25 cents/gal on its mid-vis cuts (250-525) and 35 cents/gal on bright stock, with an effective date of April 18.

According to sources, ExxonMobil will raise the price of its Group I Core 100 and 150 cuts by 30 cents per gallon, its SN330 and Core 600 by 25 cents/gal, and its bright stock by 35 cents/gal. The refiners Group II EHC 65 will be marked up by 25 cents/gal, and its Group II+ EHC 45 by 30 cents/gal, all effective April 18.

Paulsboro will lift its Group I light-vis cuts by 30 cents/gal, its mid and heavy base oils by 25 cents/gal and its bright stock by 35 cents/gal on April 23.

Along similar lines, Calumet communicated that the producer would increase prices on all paraffinic grades effective April 23. The producers Group I SN600 will edge up by 25 cents/gal, and its Group I bright stock will rise by 35 cents/gal; its Group II 325-vis and lighter grades will move up by 20 cents/gal.

All of these increases come on the heels of similar initiatives by Motiva, Chevron and Kleen Performance Products the previous week. The producers had communicated increases of 20, 25 and 30 cents/gal, depending on the cut and the supplier.

On the naphthenic base oils side, Cross Oil will increase the price on low viscosity base oils ranging in viscosity from 30 SUS to 300 SUS by 15 cents/gal. High viscosity naphthenic base oils ranging in viscosity from 500 SUS to 3500 SUS will increase by 12 cents/gal, effective April 22. The producer explained that the mark-ups were prompted by the increase in the cost of crude and transportation.

A majority of the increase initiatives were driven by lofty crude and feedstock values and a pick-up in orders as lubricant manufacturers prepare for the heightened demand during the summer driving season.

Nevertheless, it was heard that domestic base oil and lubricant activity was less robust than anticipated for this time of the year. Within the Group I segment, it was heard that bright stock had tightened, with some barrels expected to be imported from Brazil and Europe, where spot prices were said to be more attractive. There were reports that the Group I SN600 cut was also less readily available than a few weeks back, but further details were not ascertained.

Mexican appetite for U.S. base oils was considered steady, but given the rising posted prices, buyers may shy away from the market for a while. These price increases are going to put a damper on volumes for the short term, a source noted.

Crude oil prices continued their relentless climb this week, propelled by ongoing production cuts by OPEC+, unrest in Libya, and falling Iranian and Venezuelan exports.

At the same time, United States crude output has risen, with stockpiles increasing by 1.9 million barrels last week–the fourth straight increase.

Oil futures had slipped slightly on Monday on rumblings that Russia might not renew its agreement with OPEC to keep a curb on oil output. OPEC and non-member oil producing countries are expected to meet again in June.

On April 16, West Texas Intermediate April futures settled at $64.05 per barrel on the CME/Nymex, up 7 cents/bbl from $63.98/bbl on April 9.

Brent futures for June delivery closed at $71.72/bbl on the CME on April 16, and had settled at $70.61/bbl on April 9.

Light Louisiana Sweet crude wholesale spot prices settled at $70.93/bbl on April 15, compared to $68.98/bbl on April 5, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Low sulfur vacuum gas oil was at May WTI plus $14.60/bbl ($78.00/bbl); high sulfur VGO was at crude plus $14.85/bbl ($78.25/bbl) on April 15. By comparison, low sulfur VGO was hovering at $78.90/bbl and high sulfur VGO at $79.15/bbl on April 8, according to data published by OPIS 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