U.S. Base Oil Price Report


The U.S. paraffinic base oil market is digesting the latest round of price increases, which have triggered upward adjustments in the finished lubricants segment.

A majority of paraffinic base oil producers have lifted prices by 20 cents per gallon between late May and early June, with the exception of Flint Hills Resources, which raised its API Group II products by 22 cents/gal, and SK, who introduced 10-cent hikes on its Group II+/III oils.

This has been the third increase on the paraffinic side of the business since the beginning of the year. On the naphthenic front, there have been two rounds of hikes, with the most recent initiative lifting a majority of prices 15 cents/gal and 20 cents/gal in late May.

The upward movements have been driven by steep feedstock and crude oil prices, a tight supply and demand scenario, and healthy requirements for U.S. exports.

Base stock market participants noted that business remained strong, although a few players were concerned that the increases on the lubricants side would have a slowing effect on activity down the supply chain.

Several major and independent lubricant producers have marked up prices over the last few weeks as a result of heftier raw material costs (see related story in this weeks Lube Report).

Base oil availability remains snug, with little spot business taking place, according to sources.

Upstream, crude oil prices started the week higher as global stock markets soared on expectations that the United Kingdom would likely remain in the European Union after this weeks referendum.

West Texas Intermediate futures settled on the CME/Nymex at $48.85 per barrel on June 21, up 36 cents per bbl from the June 14 settlement of $48.49 per bbl.

Light Louisiana Sweet wholesale spot prices closed at $50.00 per bbl on June 17, compared to $50.84 per bbl on June 13, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent was trading at $50.62 per bbl on the CME on June 21, up 79 cents per bbl from $49.83 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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