Aggressive offers still affect US base oils

28 March 2007 21:09  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US paraffinic base oils spot prices slipped by an average of 5 cents/gal second-half March on the back of aggressive offers, bringing light-to-heavy neutral grades to around $2.20-3.00/gal ($664-895/tonne) free on board (FOB), market sources said on Wednesday.

Softer prices emerged on the back of aggressive offers available in the market, however not to the extent that was seen earlier this year, one US Gulf coast producer said.

Spot values fell substantially during November-February, shedding about 50 cents/gal due to over-supply concerns and posted price reductions, sources said.

Over the past month however, spot numbers have more-or-less stabilised.

It was more evident that surplus material has successfully been shipped markets such as Asia and Africa, traders said.

A bone of contention for traders however, was the lack of cargo space for prompt movements. “Even if a good price could be struck for base oils, it was a matter of finding ships for deep-sea routes,” one trader said.

Tight cargo space and rising freight rates were the result of recently concluded long-term shipping contracts for clean products, ethanol and vegoil, players said.

US base oils producers include ExxonMobil, Citgo, Sunoco, Valero, Ergon, Motiva, ConocoPhillips and Flint Hills Resources.

By: Carolyn Green
+1 713 525 2653

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