U.S. Base Oil Price Report


More price increases emerged this week, with Phillips 66, HollyFrontier, Calumet, and SK rounding up the list of paraffinic producers that have already moved postings up, and San Joaquin and Ergon each nominating a hike for naphthenic oils.

Phillips 66 lifted its API Group II 70/80-vis by 8 cents per gallon, its 110-vis by 10 cents/gal, its 225-vis by 8 cents/gal and its 600-vis by 10 cents/gal on April 25.

The producers Group II+ posted prices for the S2 grade increased 18 cents/gal, the S3 oil 15 cents/gal, the Group III S4 moved up by 19 cents/gal and the S8 by 21 cents/gal.

HollyFrontier announced a 20 cents/gal increase for all its Group I grades, effective April 24.

Calumet will increase posted prices on its paraffinic oils on April 27. The producers Group I 600-vis and bright stock will edge up by 15 cents/gal, while the Group II 325-vis and lighter will move up by 10 cents/gal.

SK will be raising its GII+/III prices 20 cents/gal, with an effective date of May 1.

These initiatives follow similar movements by Motiva, Flint Hills Resources, Chevron and Avista Oil, which resulted in increases between 10 cents/gal and 20 cents/gal, depending on the base stock grade and the supplier, implemented over the last couple of weeks.

Two other producers – ExxonMobil and Kleen Performance Products – will implement price hikes on May 1 as well, but their initiatives were communicated about two weeks ago.

According to sources, ExxonMobil will be lifting all of its Group I, II and II+ base oils by 20 cents/gal – with the exception of bright stock, which will be adjusted up by 15 cents/gal.

Similarly, Kleen Performance Products will raise its Group II+ RHT 120 and 240 base oils 20 cents/gal.

The increases planned by ExxonMobil and Kleen Performance Products will be reflected in this weeks price table, as they will go into effect during the week.

On the naphthenic side, Ergon announced a 15 cents/gal increase in pricing of naphthenic oils in the North American market, effective April 28. The increase will apply to all viscosities.

San Joaquin Refining also communicated that it would be increasing prices 15 cents/gal on May 1.

No other initiatives were reported for naphthenic base oils this week, but two producers – Calumet and Cross Oil – had implemented similar price increases in mid-March. At that time, both Calumet and Cross Oil lifted all of their pale oils 15 cents per gallon.

The price increases were said to be fueled by a very tight domestic supply scene and firm crude oil and feedstock prices.

Upstream, crude oil values edged up on Tuesday on expectations of a drawdown in U.S. oil inventories. Crude futures had been on a downward streak for several consecutive trading sessions because of doubts about OPECs production cuts, and whether these would help reduce a global supply glut.

West Texas Intermediate futures on the CME/Nymex settled at $49.56 per barrel on April 25, down $2.85/bbl from $52.41 per barrel on April 18.

Light Louisiana Sweet wholesale spot prices closed at $50.95 per barrel on April 24, and had settled at $54.60/bbl on April 17, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Brent was trading at $52.10/bbl on the CME on April 25, down $2.79/bbl from $54.89/bbl on April 18.

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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