More Blenders Hike Prices

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U.S. lubricant suppliers continue to report price increases on finished lubes, with most increases in the 4 to 10 percent range. Citgo Lubricants, BP Lubricants, Petro-Canada America and American Refining Group have joined ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips in this latest round of price hikes, triggered by ExxonMobils announcement three weeks ago.

Citgo announced Sept. 8 that it will increase prices on Citgo, Mystik, and unbranded and private label finished lubricants effective Oct. 30. Its increases will range from 6 to 10 percent on a weighted average basis. In a memo to customers, Citgo attributed its move to [c]ontinued and significant cost escalation in all areas of the finished lubricant supply chain.

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On Sept. 1, BP Lubricants announced that its prices on all brands of Castrol and BP motor oil, brake and power steering fluid, greases and gear lubes, and other ancillaries will increase effective Oct. 30. The price of packaged Castrol GTX and heavy-duty passenger car engine oils, BP and Arco branded motor oils, and other Castrol motor oil products will increase 56 cents per gallon. GTX High Mileage, Syntec Blend and Castrol Syntec packaged oils will increase 60 cents per gallon. Most packaged gear lubes, automatic transmission fluids, brake and power steering fluids will go up 48 cents per gallon. Price increases on bulk products are generally 4 to 8 cents per gallon lower than hikes on packaged goods. Grease prices will rise 7 to 8 cents per pound.

BP attributed the price increase to rapidly increasing total delivered costs, including base oil, additives, packaging and logistics. In his letter to customers, BPs Craig Chenoweth cautioned, Given the current volatility in the market, additional increases should be anticipated.

Yesterday Petro-Canada America confirmed to its distributors that prices will increase on Oct. 6 by 48 cents per gallon for lubricants, 92 cents per gallon for most synthetic lubes, 7 cents per pound for conventional greases and 13 cents per pound for synthetic greases. The company is imposing no increase on process oils.

American Refining Group announced price increases at the end of August, effective Oct. 2, of 4 to 9 percent on its Gulf and Brad Penn branded motor oils, automatic transmission fluids, gear lubes, greases and other industrial lubricants. In addition, the company said all private label, unbranded and other house brands will also be affected by the price rise. Noting that the prices of some synthetic and specialty items will rise higher than the typical increase, ARGs Richard Glady told distributors that the price hike is due to rising crude oil, base oil and additive costs.