Finished Lube Prices Climb


Several major oil companies and independents have informed U.S. customers of increases in finished lubricant price increases over the last few weeks, citing rising base oil, additive and packaging costs as key factors.

An official with a distributor said the price hikes likely stem from a combination of those key factors, along with tightness on the heavy grades. Some of them also used transportation increases as a reason, this source told Lube Report. Fuel surcharges are up, and the freight rates – rail and truck rates – are also up. Railroads use crude directly as a relationship, and the trucks use diesel fuel postings.

Id say base oil is probably driving 99 percent of the cost increase, an official with another distributor told Lube Report. When we see base oils being flagged up and we see direct market pricing escalating, clearly were primed for another price increase. I dont think the market is very surprised. So reception in the market has been reasonably OK.

Shell told customers it would raise prices on finished lubes by up to 8 percent effective Feb. 22. This adjustment is due to increasing costs of raw materials used in the production and delivery of our products, the company said in its on Jan. 13 letter, also noting that in certain instances, prices for specific products may change by different amounts.

Citing the recent rise in raw material costs, which impact the manufacturing and transportation of its lubricants and greases, Chevron in a Jan. 19 letter informed customers it would increase prices on all lubricating oils, gear lubes and greases by an average of 6 to 10 percent effective March 1. In some cases, the letter noted, certain prices may change more or less than the general increase.

BP Lubricants in a Jan. 21 letter told customers it will raise prices by up to 8 percent effective March 8 on all passenger car commercial, industrial and ancillary products, including synthetics, in all package types.

ConocoPhillips said it would raise prices for finished lubricant products 6 to 9 percent effective March 1, depending on product-specific factors. This increase is driven by recent increases in base oil, additives and packaging costs that have occurred despite our best efforts to limit their impact on our product manufacturing, ConocoPhillips stated in its Jan. 27 letter.

Noting escalations in base oil, additive and packaging material costs over the past several months, Citgo informed customers Jan. 29 it will raise prices 8 to 10 percent on list and customer specific prices effective with shipments occurring on and after March 1. The change applies to Citgo, Mystik and private label brands, the company stated in its letter, and it will include bulk and all package styles.

ExxonMobil outlined to customers plans to raise prices up to 8 percent on ExxonMobil branded and unbranded lubricants and greases effective March 15. Different price treatment may apply to selected products, the company stated in its Feb. 1 letter.

According to an industry source, Petro-Canada last month informed customers of an 8 percent increase in finished lube prices for all package sizes effective Feb. 24.

Smittys Supply told customers Jan. 21 it would raise prices by 40 cents per gallon on bulk lubricants effective Feb. 8, by 40 cents per gallon on packaged lubricants effective Feb. 22, by 30 cents per gallon on brake fluids effective Feb. 22 and by 5 cents per pound on greases effective Feb. 22.

Cam2 International on Jan. 22 told customers it will increase prices by 38 cents per gallon on bulk lubricants, 28 cents per gallon on synthetic lubricants, 40 cents per gallon on packaged lubricants, 30 cents on packed synthetic lubricants and 5 cents per pound on greases. The changes are effective for bulk with orders placed after Feb. 7, and for package effective with orders placed after Feb. 21, according to the letter.

Citing continued increases in base oils and another round of additive increases, Chemlube International on Jan. 22 informed customers it would raise prices 38 cents per gallon on all its bulk lubricants effective Feb. 8.

An industry source said Advanced Lubrication Specialties last month informed customers it would increase lubricant prices by 38 cents per gallon effective Feb. 15.

Thats posted prices – non-posted prices are still all over the place, from company to company, said an official with another distributor, commenting on the overall latest round of increases.

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