Base Oil Price Report


The U.S. base oil market remains stable – as it has been for much of 2003. On the paraffinic side, observers said, supply and demand remain generally balanced despite disruptions at a number of refineries.

According to sources, the fact that shortages have not occurred probably owes to weak demand. Buyers said ample supply seems to be available. Buyers and sellers say they sense no upward or downward pressure on prices, which have not changed since August.

Naphthenics have exhibited even less fluctuation; one supplier raised prices in August but others have not budged since winter. Observers said availability of light grades – used to make transformer oil – appears to be tightening as Shell sells the final barrels from its Martinez, Calif., plant, which closed in September. Even so, they added, the pale side of the market appears generally balanced.

The price of crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $28.78 per barrel yesterday, 83 cents lower than a week earlier.

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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