Profits Slip at Martin Midstream


Profits Slip at Martin Midstream

Martin Midstream Partners reported a slight decrease in first quarter operating income on lower sales for its specialty products business segment, which includes lubricants and greases.

Meanwhile, Brazilian lubricant blender Vibra Energia reported an increase in lubricant sales volume for full-year 2023.

Martin Midstream Partners

Specialty products operating income decreased to $4.5 million in the quarter ended March 31 for Kilgore, Texas-based Martin Midstream, down slightly from $4.6 million in the same period last year.

However, adjusted segment earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for specialty products improved to $5.4 million in the quarter, compared to $5.2 million.

“Specialty products adjusted EBITDA, after giving effect to the exit of the butane optimization business, increased [$200,000], reflecting improved margins in our NGL marketing and grease divisions, offset by lower sales volume and higher product costs in our lubricants business,” the company said in its earnings news release.

Lubricants accounted for $1.5 million and greases for $2.5 million in EBITDA, together comprising about 74% of the company’s sub-total for specialty products EBITDA.

Specialty products sale revenues – including for lubricants, greases, propane and natural gasoline – tumbled 50% to $66.3 million in the first quarter, compared to $132.3 million.

The company provides blending and packaging services for specialty lubricants and greases through its Martin Lubricants business, which operates two blending and packaging plants, one in Smackover, Arkansas, and one in the Kansas City area. The company supplies bulk lubricants and packaged goods for automotive, industrial and commercial-grade use. Martin Lubricants also packages private label products for major oil companies, farm store chains, dollar stores, and auto parts wholesalers, as well as exports finished lubricants worldwide.

Vibra Energia

Vibra Energia reported that its full-year lubricant segment sales volume reached 235,000 metric tons in 2023, a 2% increase from 231,000 tons.

Fourth quarter lubricant sales volume was down 5% at 54,000 tons.

“One of the main events for 2024 is the opportunity for greater growth that we have for lubricants, growing the capacity 50% at our lubricant plant,” Vibra Chief Financial Officer Augusto Ribeiro said in a videoconference call with analysts. That should happen in the second half of 2024, he added, “allowing for opportunities to grow channels and plans that we have for lubricants.”

In addition to its lubricant plant, Vibra has 11 lubricant depots, five lubricant logistics operators, an integrated lubricant warehouse with authorized distributor, and three supply house depots to serve the company’s Exploration and Production of Oil segment with special products.

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