U.S. Base Oil Price Report


Sources said ExxonMobil would implement posted price increases as of May 4, driven by improved demand and firm crude oil and feedstock values.

This movement comes on the heels of Chevron’s API Group II price hike a week ago.

According to sources, ExxonMobil will be lifting Group I light and mid-vis grades 20 cents per gallon, and its heavy 600-vis cut and bright stock 10 cents/gal. The producer’s Group II EHC65 and Group II+ EHC45 oils will also be marked up by 20 cents/gal.

Chevron’s Group II posted prices were revised up last week, as the producer raised numbers between 10 and 20 cents per gallon, depending on the grade, on April 27.

The balance of producers was heard to be evaluating market conditions, but no other price revisions emerged during the week.

Suppliers acknowledged that demand had grown stronger over the last month, and that availability of several grades had tightened.

“The market perked up, and inventories seem to be dropping,” a market player confirmed.

Requirements from the downstream automotive lubricants segment have been particularly healthy as the summer driving season has just begun.

However, many independent lubricant manufacturers are lamenting that base oil prices continue to go up, but it has been difficult to transfer the higher costs down the supply chain.

There has been good buying interest for U.S. product from Europe and Mexico, with traders looking for second-half May cargoes of SN150, SN500/600 and bright stock, but buyers’ and sellers’ price ideas are sometimes separated by a large gap, sources said.

Upstream, West Texas Intermediate futures slipped on Tuesday on renewed concerns about global oversupply ahead of the release of U.S. inventory data on Wednesday.

WTI settled on the CME/Nymex at $43.65 per barrel on May 3, down 39 cents per bbl from its April 26 settlement of $44.04 per bbl.

Light Louisiana Sweet wholesale spot prices closed at $46.98 per bbl. on May 2, compared with $42.55 per bbl. on April 25, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent was trading at $44.97 per bbl on the CME on May 3, down 77 cents per bbl from $45.74 per 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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