U.S. Base Oil Price Report


A spate of price announcements hit the U.S. base oils market this week. Calumet, Motiva, ExxonMobil and SK outlined API Group II, II+ and III increases of 20 to 25 cents per gallon.

Calumet said it will increase postings for its Group II paraffinic neutrals, including 80, 100, 150 and 325 vis, by 25 cents/gal on Thursday, April 12.

Motiva informed its customers that it is upping its Group II base oil postings on Friday, April 13. Star 4 (110 vis) will be pulled up by 23 cents/gal, while Star 6 (220 vis) and Star 12 (600 vis) will climb by 24 cent/gal.

Direct customers of ExxonMobil said that the major will adjust posted prices for its Group II+ EHC grades on Friday, April 13. EHC 45 (110 vis) and EHC 60 (190 vis) will bounce 20 cents/gal higher.

SK said that it plans to push up its entire line of Yubase base stocks by 20 cents/gal on Friday, April 13. Higher postings will apply for SKs Group II+ 3 cSt and Group III 4, 6 and 8 cSt oils.

With stiffer prices being rolled out, sources indicated that demand, which had been largely steady, did pick up somewhat ahead of the recent flood of increase announcements.

In some specialty and niche downstream sectors, buying interest has held at an even keel for much of the year. Some other sectors that had lagged, such as automotive, are finally seeing some improvement, with orders now up to expectations, said a few suppliers.

The naphthenic arena remains firm in price and overall buying interest, with availability very tight. A handful of offshore deals were reportedly completed earlier this year, but for the most part, suppliers are focusedon fulfilling domestic orders now.

At the close of the Tuesday, April 10, CME/Nymex session, front month light sweet crude oil futures ended the day at $101.02 per barrel, down $2.99/bbl from last weeks settlement at $104.01.

Brent crude was trading at $119.94/bbl at the end of the day yesterday, a loss of $4.89/bbl from its week-ago level at $124.83. LLS (Light Louisiana Sweet) crude was trading at a premium of about $21.10/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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