U.S. Base Oil Price Report


Flint Hills Resources, ExxonMobil, HollyFrontier, Paulsboro Refining and Safety-Kleen added their own lines to the round of price decreases initiated by domestic producers over the last two weeks.

Flint Hills marked down its API Group II 70/75 vis cut by 15 cents per gallon, its 110 grade by 5 cents/gal, and its 220 oil by 12 cents/gal on Sep. 17. The price of the supplier’s 600 cut was left unchanged.

HollyFrontier selected the same effective date for its Group I decreases. The producer lowered its SN70 through SN250 grades 15 cents/gal, and its bright stock also saw a downward adjustment of 15 cents/gal. There was no adjustment for the producer’s SN500 cut.

Sources indicated that ExxonMobil had also revised its base oil prices down on Sep. 17 (although a number of buyers mentioned Sep. 18 as the effective date), with the Group I light-viscosity grades dropping 10 cents/gal and the mid-vis 15 cents/gal. The companys heavy-vis cut and bright stock underwent no changes.

ExxonMobil was also heard to have lowered its Group II EHC65 (200/230 vis) grade 15 cents/gal and its Group II+ EHC45 (110/130 vis) by 10 cents/gal.

Paulsboro on Sep. 22 marked down its Group I light-vis posted prices by the same amount as ExxonMobil.

Also within the Group II+ category, Safety-Kleen has adjusted down its 120-vis base oil by 10 cents/gal and its 240 grade 15 cents/gal, effective Sep. 21.

Calumet did not move postings for its Group I heavy-vis grades because they are still in tight supply.

In the previous two weeks, a majority of base oil producers — with the exception of those who moved prices this week – had revised postings down on the back of volatile crude oil values, lukewarm demand for the lighter grades, and a need to remain competitive.

In the Group II segment, producers Motiva, Chevron, Phillips 66 and Calumet had decreased prices 10 cents to 15 cents per gallon, depending on the cut. The heavy-vis grades had undergone no revisions.

On the Group II+/III front, Phillips 66 and SK Lubricants had trimmed posted values by 20 cents/gal.

Upstream, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) weakened on Tuesday on persistent concerns about a global glut of crude oil. Oil has been trading within a narrow band around the $40s/barrel in recent weeks, after plummeting to six-year-lows last month on news about economic uncertainties in China.

WTI closed on the CME/Nymex at $45.83 per barrel on Sep. 22, up $1.24/bbl from its Sep. 8 settlement of $44.59.

Brent was trading around $49.08/bbl on the CME on Sep. 22, up $2.45/bbl from $46.63/bbl a week earlier.

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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