The U.S. base oil market appears to be in a holding pattern, with little change noted in buying or supply programs in the past week. Customers say they are receiving scheduled contractual volumes without a hitch, and suppliers concur that orders are on target. Posted prices are once again stable, and spot offers are described as firm.
Industry participants agree that there are limited spot volumes of certain grades, particularly API Group II mid and heavy vis cuts. This is not to say that other Group II base oils are in better supply, but its debatable depending on the supplier. Meanwhile, whether due to turnarounds underway or about to commence, supplies are helping to keep overall Group II balanced-to-snug. Players also stress Group III availability will remain largely balanced-to-tight, although most customers are receiving contractual amounts.