U.S. Base Oil Price Report


Although the domestic U.S. base oils marketplace was mostly quiet this week, there was an addition to the group of producers who previously announced API Group I decreases. Calumet jumped on board, announcing it intends to drop prices between 20 cents per gallon and 25 cents/gal.

Effective on Wed., Jan. 4, Calumet will reduce its 700 solvent neutral by 25 cents/gal and lower its bright stock price by 20 cents/gal. (Note: The price chart will be amended in the coming week to include the Calumet adjustment).

Taking time to reflect, a number of sources said 2011 was a good year with strong buying much of the time, although business did slow in comparison during Q4. Both buyers and sellers appeared satisfied with their inventory positions. Some buyers said that they could have used additional volumes of Group II and III grades, but yet they managed on a hand-to-mouth basis. Noting that some grades had been exceptionally tight earlier this year, consumers mentioned that they received all (and were offered extra by suppliers) of their Group I requirements in the recent months.

Those buying naphthenics found availability at times more difficult, but these buyers ended the year with necessary quantities. Suppliers of pale oils also are satisfied with year-end positions and believe that going forward, demand will increase, keeping supply/demand tight in 2012.

At the close of the Tuesday, Dec. 27, CME/Nymex session, front month light sweet crude oil futures ended the day at $101.34 per barrel, rebounding $4.12/bbl from last weeks settlement at $97.22.

Brent crude was trading at $109.06/bbl at the end of the day yesterday, up $2.03/bbl from its week-ago level at $107.03. LLS (Light Louisiana Sweet) crude was trading at a premium of about $8.50/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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