Base Oil Price Report


Chevron announced that it moved prices, effective Monday, upward by 10 cents/gallon, corresponding to moves by other producers in late May and earlier this month. Otherwise the base oil market was quiet this week, relatively balanced regarding supply, and with no other announced pricing movements. Plants were generally reported to be running well.

Some buyers report they are considering offshore purchases, bolstered by a favorable arbitrage situation due to recent downward pricing moves in Europe coupled with the recent increase in the United States. Despite strengthening crude prices, U.S. base oil prices have held this past week, presumably due, at least in part, to lower spot gasoline prices.

A spokesman for Calumet reported that the expansion under way at its Shreveport, La., refinery is now slated for completion during the fourth quarter of this year. As noted in past issues of Lube Report, the expansion will allow better crude optimization via processing of sour crudes, and will add about 6,000 barrels per day of API Group II base stock production as well as wax and other products.

A number of industry meetings are under way this week, which may be contributing to this quiet spell, among them being the ICIS Asian Base Oils and Lubricants Conference, ASTM and the API Lubricants Committee. One of the key topics regarding base stocks is the ongoing discussion of base oil interchange guidelines for API Group III stocks in engine oil formulations.

Crude closed at $69.10 per barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to Bloomberg. That was $3.75 above the price one 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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