Base Oil Price Report


Contrary to pricing moves in the United States, base oil prices in Western Europe are still rising, and lubricant blenders say theyd like to know why. Separately, Indian Oil has begun exporting base stocks to the Middle East.

ExxonMobil has announced hikes of $20 per metric ton on three Group I stocks, effective today, European buyers said. The action comes after U.S. posted prices for paraffinic oils fell last month for the first time in four and a half years.

It makes you wonder why prices here should continue going up, especially when theyre going down in the U.S., one blender told Lube Report.

ExxonMobils $20 hike applied to Group I oils 145 neutral, 600 neutral and bright stock. The energy giant is the dominant supplier of merchant base oils in Europe, more so than in the United States. European blenders said the company attributed its markups to continuing tightness in demand-supply balances.

That explanation left at least some blenders less than satisfied, as they pointed to the large drop in crude oil costs. Crude prices in London have hovered around $60 per barrel for the past several weeks, approximately 20 percent off record levels reached during the summer.

Indian Oil Corp. announced Monday that it has exported its first cargo of lubricant base stocks to its wholly-owned subsidiary in the Middle East, Indian Oil Middle East FZE. The shipment, loaded Oct. 27 from Chennai, consisted of 3,800 metric tons of Group I stocks from Chennai Petroleum Corp.

It is expected that this small cargo would open the doors for further export opportunities in base oil export to the Middle East and will facilitate establishment of Indian Oil Middle East as a trader of base oils in the region, the company said.

There were no reported changes in U.S. posted prices this week. Crude closed at$58.57 per barrelon the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday, according to Bloomberg; that was 84 cents lower than the closing pricea week ago.

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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