Base Oil Price Report


Flint Hills Resources raiseditsbase oil posted prices Friday, completing a round ofhikes begun April 7.Calumet Lubricants meanwhile introduced a posted price for a Group II-plus stock.

In a move announced April 13, Flint Hills Resources added between 11 cents and 13 cents per gallon to its postings. It marked the seventh consecutive week that at least one supplier has raised prices. Flint Hills was the last major paraffinic supplier to join the latest round of markups.

The market underwent at least two rounds of increases since late February, with posted prices rising approximately 10 percent. Observers speculated that the market may enjoy a respite after the rapid runup.

I cant imagine ExxonMobil is going to do another increase after the past couple months, one marketer said, referring to the traditional leader of price movements.

While high crude oil costs received much of the blame for recent base oil markups, sources noted that base oil margins have fattened since crude retreated from record highs reached early this month. The price of crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed yesterday at $52.29 per barrel, up 98 cents from a week earlier but still down $5.99 from the April 4 peak.

Still, observers said they dont expect base oil prices to reverse direction right away. Suppliers are unlikely to lower prices while crude remains volatile, they said, and margin competition from fuels remains high.

Calumet joined ExxonMobil and Motiva as the only producers to post prices for Group II-plus oils, listing a 120 stock for $2.37 per gallon, FOB Shreveport, La. Petro-Canada and ChevronTexaco also make Group II-plus base oils but do not post prices for them.

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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