Base Oil Price Report


U.S. prices for both paraffinic and naphthenic base oils are rising again. ExxonMobil triggered the paraffinic movement Monday, announcing hikes of 10 cents to 15 cents per gallon that take effect today. Several pale oil producers said they will impose markups ranging from 8 cents to 15 cents.

This is the third round of increases this year for paraffinic oils. ExxonMobil added 10 cents per gallon for all of its postings, except mid-viscosity Group I stocksand its EHC 60 Group II-plus, all of which went up 15 cents. Citgo followed yesterday, announcing hikes of 15 cents on its 325 neutral and10 cents other products, taking effect today. Motiva said it will raise all postings by 12 cents tomorrow. Calumet said it will add 15 cents to its 325 Group II neutral and 10 cents to all other postingson Monday.

There was no word yet of increases from Flint Hills Resources, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Sunoco, Valero or SK.

On the naphthenic side, volume leader Ergon said Monday that it will raise the price on its 60-vis oil by a dime and all other prices by 8 cents, effective April 24. On the same day Nynas plans to add 10 cents to its 2000- and 2400-vis products and 15 cents to all others. Cross and Calumetindicated that they will move May 1. Cross is adding 10 cents across the board, while Calumet plans to mark up 10 cents on oils with viscosities of 60 and lighter and 8 cents on others.

Suppliers on both sides of the market cited several factors in the increases, with crude costs among the biggest. Crude costs have risen steadily in recent weeks. The price on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed yesterday at $71.70 per barrel, according to Bloomberg. That was $2.76 higher than a week ago and $10 higher than the level of March 7.

Crude has really jumped up again, and [refiners] are worried that it may keep climbing, one market observer said. Others said that supply remains exceptionally tight, especially on paraffinic Group II. ExxonMobil customers said the company cited arbitrage opportunities for exports. Naphthenic suppliers noted that their segment did not follow paraffinics on their most recent round of hikes at the end of February and into March.

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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