Base Oil Price Report


After easing last month, crude oil prices have climbed back close to record high marks. Industry analysts say the blame lies with robust demand that is taxing global production capability.

The price of crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed yesterday at $40.44 per barrel, up 77 cents from a week ago. During trading yesterday, the price climbed above $42 per barrel, approaching record levels reached before the big drop-off in June.

After crude prices lost more than 10 percent of their value during the first week in June, some analysts predicted prices in the United States would average in the mid-30-dollar-per-barrel range for the rest of 2004. So far those predictions are not faring very well. Prices spiked earlier this month after supply disruptions in Iraq and on news that Russias largest oil producer, Yukos, was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Prices have continued inching upward, with industry observers saying that worldwide capacity is being stretched by growing demand. The silver lining for buyers is that the market is more than half way through the summer demand peak, leading some analysts to conclude that prices have probably peaked again.

Posted prices for paraffinic base oils in the United States were unchanged this week.

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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