Base Oil Price Report


Like a teen-ager avoiding yard work, the U.S. base oil market continued this week to drag out a round of price hikes begun nine days ago.

ChevronTexaco on Friday raised all three of its posted prices by 4 cents per gallon. Citgo said it had raised all of its postings by the same amount July 1. The latter markup even applied to bright stock, making Citgo the only principal supplier to raise price on that grade of product.

Those announcements left Motiva as the only principal supplier not to have moved during this round. Observers predicted that the Houston company will increase its postings soon and speculated that the delay may be due to vacations or some other incidental factor.

Base oil purchasers said the market appears relatively stable and that they see no obvious cause for further price movement in coming weeks. Crude oil costs eased somewhat after Americas Independence Day holiday passed without terrorist attacks. The price of crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 2 cents yesterday to close at $26.09 per barrel.

We expect [base oil] prices to be stable, one purchaser said. Of course, we didnt expect this last increase so that just goes to show – its hard to predict.

Sources said demand from the lubricant market, at least from the automotive segment, appears to have recovered from a slump caused by last years recession. With no refinery turnarounds imminent, the base oil market appears to be coasting through summer. Suppliers called it a welcome respite, given that the market has been unusually volatile for the past two years.

Were churning out product and filling orders but things are awfully quiet, one base oil supplier said. I think people are glad to have that for a change.

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

Copyright 2002 LNG Publishing Co., Inc. All rights reserved.
Tim Sullivan, Editor. Lube Report, Lubes’n’Greases Magazine and Lubricants Industry Sourcebook are published by LNG Publishing Co., Inc.

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