U.S. Base Oil Price Report


HollyFrontier and Paulsboro stepped out with posted price increases this week, while ExxonMobil’s hikes – which sources reported a couple of weeks ago – will be going into effect this week.

HollyFrontier communicated that it would be lifting its API Group I base oils 20 cents per gallon, with the exception of bright stock, which will go up 15 cents/gal, as of Jan. 3. The increases are reflected in the price table below.

Paulsboro Refining Co. also announced that it would be increasing its bright stock by 15 cents/gal and its other Group I base stocks by 20 cents/gal to its contract customers. Paulsboros price adjustments will not be displayed in the price table this week, but will be posted on Jan. 4, when they go into effect.

On Dec. 13, sources had mentioned that ExxonMobil would raise its Group I bright stock by 15 cents per gallon, and all its other Group I, II and II+ grades by 20 cents/gal on Jan. 1. The producers prices have been revised on the price table accordingly.

Flint Hills Resources also lifted its Group II base oils shortly after ExxonMobil’s news hit the market, but the producers increase became effective on Dec. 19. Flint Hills 70/75, 100, 230 and 600-vis grades edged up by 10 cents/gal.

No other price changes emerged by the publishing deadline, but other paraffinic and naphthenic producers were heard to be evaluating conditions and would likely wait until after the New Years holiday to communicate a decision.

The upward base stock price movements were said to be driven by steeper crude oil and feedstock costs – U.S. crude prices have surged 25 percent since mid-November, according to analysts – together with a tightening market scenario for a number of base oil cuts.

Crude oil jumped 1.7 percent on Tuesday on expectations that global supply would start to tighten once the first output cut deal between OPEC and non-OPEC producers takes effect on Sunday.

West Texas Intermediate futures on the CME/Nymex settled at $53.90 per barrel on Dec. 27, up $1.67 per bbl from the Dec. 20 settlement of $52.23 per bbl.

Light Louisiana Sweet wholesale spot prices closed at $53.61 per barrel on Dec. 23, down from $53.56 a week ago, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. There was no trading on Dec. 26.

Brent was trading at $56.09 per bbl on the CME on Dec. 27, up 74 cents per bbl from $55.35 per bbl on Dec. 20.

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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