European, Middle Eastern and African base oil markets have rallied further in response to crude oil and feedstock price run-ups that occurred from mid-December through early January. Evidencing the usual lag between crude and base oil price changes, European prices took particularly large jumps over the past 10 days.
Crude values appear to have plateaued and are trading in a relatively narrow range. Dated deliveries of Brent crude have hovered between $53 per barrel and $57/bbl recently and posted around $55.30/bbl yesterday for March front month settlement. West Texas Intermediate settled just above $53/bbl, also for March settlement. ICE LS Gas Oil, a benchmark for petroleum products, trades at $488 per metric ton, barely changed from last week.