Base Oil Price Report


Base oil prices in the United States have been climbing all year, and there are no signs of their rise abating. To the contrary, paraffinic postings underwent their biggest increase in years the past week, with numerous suppliers imposing double-digit markups.

The latest round of hikes – the seventh of 2004 – was triggered by ExxonMobils Sept. 29 announcement of an across-the-board increase of 10 cents per gallon. Citgo, Motiva, ConocoPhillips, Calumet, Valero and Sunocosubsequently said they were raising all posted prices by an equal amount. S.K. moved even more, raising its Group III postings 11 cents. Flint Hills Resources was the only supplier to impose more modest increases, raising its prices between 4 cents and 8 cents.

Sources said ChevronTexaco had not made any announcement by the close of business yesterday.

Naphthenics were also on the rise again, with at least some suppliers apparently following an increase that Cross Oil initiated last week.

Market observers said ExxonMobil attributed its increases at least in part to market tightness. Several suppliers added that base oils, despite repeated markups this year, are still lagging behind the runup in crude oil prices.

Crude prices set new records yesterday, with the price on the New York Mercantile Exchange closing at $50.99 per barrel. That marked an increase of $1.09 from 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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