Strike While the Iron Is Hot
Demand for base oils has been surprisingly healthy, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that continued to claim lives and spread unabated in many countries.
In early October, the global base stock market displayed tight conditions for most grades, and this was attributed to a combination of increased consumption—following a few months of lackluster requirements due to lockdowns and manufacturing disruptions—and reduced availability on the back of ongoing reductions in refinery run rates and unexpected plant outages.
Along the United States Gulf Coast, hurricanes forced several producers to either cut back operating rates or shut down. The Excel Paralubes API Group II base oil plant near Lake Charles, Louisiana, remained off-line for most of September and October as Hurricane Laura damaged both its power source and the nearby Phillips 66 refinery that supplies the plant with feedstock.