Bright Stock Steals the Show
Over the past several years, base oil market participants have repeatedly heard the mantra that API Group I grades were on their way out. Output capacity of these base stocks has shrunk, as many Group I plants have been permanently shut down.
Who would have guessed that in 2021, some of the most sought base stocks would turn out to be the Group I solvent neutral cuts, with bright stock becoming the elusive diva that attracts heaps of attention?
Not only has bright stock become a hot commodity in the United States, but also in other regions such as Asia, where this cut has been hard to locate and prices have sometimes jumped by $50-$100 per metric ton week on week. This was partly the result of refineries having to run at reduced rates since the start of the coronavirus pandemic to adjust for a dramatic slump in fuels consumption.