U.S. Base Oil Price Report


Following decrease notifications by a majority of U.S. paraffinic base oil producers, SK lowered its API Group II+/III oils on Oct. 13, while on the naphthenic side, Calumet stepped out with reductions for its products as well, closely tracking Ergons movement the previous week.

SK communicated to its customers that it had moved its Yubase 3 cut down by 15 cents per gallon, while its Group III grades fell 13 cents/gal as reflected in the price table below.

By lowering its posted prices, SK completed the circle of paraffinic price revisions initiated by Motiva on Oct. 1.

As a result of these movements, Group I prices dropped between 10 cents/gal and 47 cents/gal, depending on the producer and the cut, with effective dates ranging from Oct. 7 to Oct. 16. ExxonMobil and Paulsboros bright stock prices were not revised, while HollyFrontier and Calumet lowered bright stock by 10 cents/gal.

Group II postings experienced a 15 cents/gal to 45 cents/gal reduction, varying according to the viscosity and the supplier, between Oct. 1 and Oct. 10.

In the Group II+ segment, the decreases ranged from 15 cents/gal to 25 cents/gal, with implementation dates of Oct. 10 and Oct. 13.

Phillips 66, the only other Group III supplier aside from SK, marked down its posted prices by 13 cents/gal on Oct. 10.

On the naphthenic front, Calumet will decrease its pricing by 15 cents/gal on all grades, effective Oct. 28.

Ergon was the first pale oil producer to adjust prices down by 15 cents/gal on Oct. 20. The rest of the producers were heard to be evaluating the market situation before deciding whether to follow suit.

A majority of base stock producers agreed that the adjustments were undertaken to reflect lower crude oil and feedstock costs, and to better address the expected seasonal slowdown in base oil requirements in the presence of plentiful availability.

Following the flurry of price adjustments, a more sedate market pace was noted, accentuated by the absence of participants attending the Annual ILMA Meeting in Indian Wells, Calif., during Oct. 18-21.

Upstream, West Texas Intermediate crude futures continued to be under pressure as Iraqi output does not appear to have been impacted by conflict in the north of the country, and oil production increased in Libya and the U.S.

WTI settled on the CME/Nymex at $82.81 per barrel on Oct. 21, up by $0.97/bbl from a settlement at $81.84/bbl on Oct. 14.

Brent crude was trading around $85.40 per barrel on the CME on Oct. 21, up $0.36/bbl from $85.04/bbl a week ago.

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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