U.S. Base Oil Price Report


The base oil market is stable and quiet ahead of this weeks U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Posted prices are unchanged, although some buyers expect another round of decreases could be around the corner.

While a number of players have already departed the marketplace in advance of Thanksgiving, others were trying to complete some business before activity virtually stops mid-week. Several suppliers commented that they are pleased with November sales reaching target, and they expect the same for December.

Domestic postings remain steady, but sources suspect that prices slipping lower in Asia and Europe could have a downward impact on U.S. values.

Several large buyers have already or will import base oils due to the attractive offers by Asian and European suppliers, sources indicated. Much of the product coming in is thought to be API Group II. Although unsubstantiated, a few players hinted that some Group III could find its way to the U.S. as well.

Some fresh nervousness was detected among producers as crude oil values flirted with the $100 per barrel mark in recent weeks. In fact, futures prices did ascend even higher to circa $103/bbl last week, but have since dipped back down.

Crude values have surged 33 to 35 percent since early October, when they were at $75/bbl. Analysts suspect that crude has risen on concerns about Irans nuclear program and the subsequent geopolitical tensions that have erupted in the Middle East.

At the close of the Tuesday, Nov. 22, CME/Nymex session, front month light sweet crude oil futures ended the day at $98.01 per barrel, down $1.36 from last weeks settlement at $99.37.

Brent crude was trading at $108.69/bbl at the end of the day yesterday, down $3.84 from its week-ago level at $112.53. LLS (Light Louisiana Sweet) crude was trading at a premium of about $10.75/bbl to WTI on Tuesday.

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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