U.S. Base Oil Price Report


While participants hurried to finalize business before the start of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, pricing remained largely flat and domestic supply was deemed ample to meet the current call for product.

Buyers said that there continued to be some segments of the market where suppliers were granting attractive discounts in order to clear inventory ahead of the end of the year.

This situation was particularly apparent for the lighter grades in both the API Group I and II categories, given that these cuts were more plentiful, compared to the heavier grades, which were on the tight side.

Despite the steep discounting, neither paraffinic nor naphthenic producers seemed eager to revise posted prices, particularly as crude oil values continued to move within a narrow band, and even edged up during the week.

There is no need to rock the boat, a source said, while another commented that the typical slowdown that affects orders at the end of the year may trigger some spot deals outside the current temporary voluntary allowances, but that no changes in postings were expected.

Most producers were operating their plants at full rates, although some were heard to have reduced base oil output in order to produce more transportation fuels in recent weeks.

The Chevron base oil plant in Richmond, Calif., was anticipated to be brought back on stream at the end of November or early December, following an extended two-month turnaround at the refinery, but a producer confirmation was not forthcoming at press time. Chevrons base oil plant produces 20,700 barrels per day of Group II oils.

Rerefiner Avista Oil is also preparing to start a turnaround at its Peachtree City, Georgia, base oil plant, scheduled for mid-December. The plant has capacity to refine 1,700 barrels per day of Group II and Group II+ oils.

Avistas Group II/II+ prices will be posted for the first time in the base oil price table image below this week.

Upstream, West Texas Intermediate futures touched the $50 per barrel mark in overnight trading, but started the day in New York in mixed territory, as there was perceived support from Iran and Russia for a production freeze, but concerns persisted whether all the members of OPEC would come to an agreement.

WTI futures on the CME/Nymex settled at $48.03 per barrel on Nov. 22, up $2.22 per bbl from the Nov. 15 settlement of $45.81 per bbl.

Light Louisiana Sweet wholesale spot prices closed at $48.36 per barrel on Nov. 14, up from $44.39 a week ago, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent was trading at $49.12 per bbl on the CME on Nov. 22, up $2.17 per bbl from $46.95 per bbl on Nov. 15.

Historic U.S. posted base oil prices and WTI and Brent crude spot prices are available for purchase in Excel format.

Related Topics

Base Oil Reports    Base Stocks    Market Topics    Other