U.S. Base Oil Price Report

HollyFrontier, Petro-Canada, Paulsboro and Calumet joined the group of producers who have adjusted posted prices over the last couple of weeks.

Motiva, Chevron, Excel Paralubes and ExxonMobil had all recently revised postings, with changes going into effect between Aug. 6 and Aug. 21.

Early this week, HollyFrontier communicated that the company would reduce its API Group I 70-250 grades by 10 cents per gallon, but would not adjust its heavy neutral and bright stock prices. The revisions went into effect Aug. 21.

Petro-Canada also marked down prices on Aug. 21. The producers Group II 70 and 100-vis cuts moved down 6 cents/gal; its 200-vis edged down 10 cents/gal, and there was no change to its 350 and 650-vis cuts. Petro-Canadas Group II+ 100N grade was reduced by 10 cents/gal, but there were no revisions to its Group III cuts at this time.

Calumet will be decreasing its Group I SN600 by 20 cents/gal, and there will be no change to the price of bright stock. All of the producers Group II grades will edge down by 10 cents/gallon. These changes will be effective Aug. 23.

Paulsboro will be adjusting prices on Aug. 24; the producers Group I 100 and 165-vis cuts will move down 10 cents/gal; the 500 and 700-vis grades will be trimmed by 20 cents/gal; and the price of bright stock will remain unchanged.

The adjustments were prompted by a slowdown in requirements as the summer season comes to an end, and a need to stimulate orders so as to keep stocks in balance, sources explained.

On the naphthenic front, Cross Oil implemented a 15-20 cent/gal increase on its pale oils on Aug. 17, driven by steep raw material values and increasing transportation costs. Other naphthenic producers were heard to have adjusted prices on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, upstream conditions continued to be fairly volatile. Early last week, crude oil prices weakened following reports that showed a larger-than-expected inventory build in the United States, along with growing production volumes coming from Saudi Arabia.

West Texas Intermediate crude prices registered the longest losing streak since 2015 on concerns about ongoing trade wars, weakening currencies in emerging economies, and a potential decrease in global oil demand.

However, on Tuesday this week, crude oil futures moved higher on reports of retreating U.S. crude oil inventories, and potential disruptions of global supplies due to U.S. sanctions against Iran.

On Aug. 21, West Texas Intermediate Sept. futures settled at $67.35 per barrel on the CME/Nymex, up 31 cents per barrel from $67.04/bbl on Aug. 14.

Light Louisiana Sweet crude wholesale spot prices settled at $72.70 per barrel on Monday, Aug. 20, compared to $70.75/bbl on Aug. 13, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent was trading at $72.48/bbl on the CME Tuesday, up 2 cents/bbl from $72.46/bbl on Aug. 14.

Low sulfur vacuum gas oil (VGO) was at Sep. WTI crude plus $13/bbl ($79.43/bbl) and high sulfur VGO was at crude plus $11.75/bbl ($78.18/bbl) on Aug. 20. By comparison, low sulfur VGO was hovering at $80.70/bbl and high sulfur VGO at $79.70/bbl on Aug. 13, according to data published by PetroChemWire.

Gabriela Wheeler can be reached directly atgabriela@LubesnGreases.com.

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