ExxonMobil and Chevron last week each informed U.S. customers of finished lubricant price hikes that take effect May 16, following earlier markups by Shell Lubricants and BP Lubricants USA. Several smaller and independent suppliers earlier instituted finished lube price increases taking effect during April and early May.
ExxonMobil notified customers April 4 it would raise prices for its branded and unbranded lubricants and greases by up to 4 percent effective May 16. Different price treatment may apply to selected products, the company said in its letter.
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On April 5, Chevron told customers it would increase prices by 3 to 6 percent on lubricating oils effective May 16. Some specific products could increase in amounts outside of the general increase, the companys letter pointed out.
Shell Lubricants notified U.S. customers that prices for Shell brand finished lubricants would generally increase by up to 4 percent effective April 15. BP Lubricants USA informed U.S. customers that prices for Castrol finished lubricants will generally increase by up to 4 percent effective May 6.
A variety of smaller and independent suppliers previously informed customers about markups taking effect in April:
- Warren Oil will raise prices 20 cents/gal on conventional and synthetic blend bulk prices effective April 12, 25 cents/gal on conventional and synthetic blend packaged items effective May 1 and 3 cents/lb on grease effective May 1. Prices for full synthetic lubricants were unchanged.
- Martin Lubricants informed customers it would increase prices 4 to 5 percent for all lubricant products, including 20 cents/gal on bulk, 25 cents/gal on packaged lubricants and 3 cents/lb on grease effective with bulk lubricants orders placed after April 12 and packaged lubricants orders placed after April 30.
- Smittys Supply will increase prices 20 cents per gallon on conventional and synthetic blend bulk lubricants, 25 cents/gal on conventional and synthetic blend packaged lubricants and 3 cents per pound on grease effective April 15. Prices for full synthetic lubricants were unchanged.
- Old World told customers it would raise prices effective April 15 by 20 cents/gal on bulk and packaged conventional and synthetic blend lubricants, and by 3 cents/lb on greases. Prices for full synthetic lubricants were unchanged.
- Safety-Kleen will raise prices 25 cents/gal on blended products effective April 27.
Among letters citing reasons for price increases, factors cited included increased costs for raw materials used in making finished lubes such as base oils and additives and market conditions.
One industry source suggested that economics in the U.S. seem to be pointing towards an upcoming slight uptick in finished lubricants demand, which may have played a role in the price increases. The added sales would be more profitable if theyre carrying a higher price.
This source also noted that the general amount of increase is lower than it has been in the past. Everybodys using about a 4 percent increase, this source said. There have been times in the past when it has been 8 percent.