The global marine lubricant market is mired in crisis, according to suppliers who say it is beset by skyrocketing costs and a shortage of chemical additives. One supplier said the possibility looms of ships being unable to have lubes delivered when they want them.
Most lubricant blenders have been bludgeoned the past year and a half by skyrocketing base oil prices. Marine lubricant manufacturers say they have been among the hardest hit, however, because of they depend mostly on bright stock. Posted prices for bright stock on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Coast are $1.24 per gallon higher now than they were in January 2004. Postings for light and mid-grade Group I oils have gone up between 87 cents and 93 cents.