US base oil spot business sidelined by tight supply

29 March 2011 21:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US base oil inventories are tight against spring requirements for finished lubricants, and spot business is sidelined by crimped inventories, market participants said on Tuesday.

Demand from the finished lube sector increases from March through May, as players prepare for the busy US summer driving season.

Group II and III base oils were widely limited, leaving no spot activity potentials in those tiers, traders said.

Finished lubricant price hikes emerged from a number of lube oil marketers, including Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, CITGO and Petro Canada. Increases were sought  ranging 8% to 12%, according to buyers.

Effective dates for the finished lube increases spread from 11 March to 18 April.

A round of price increases stemming from rising feedstock costs and the hikes in finished lubes took place during March.

Group I spot prices for light viscosity grades SN100 were last assessed by ICIS at $3.80-3.95/gal and SN150 at $3.83-3.93/gal, reflecting the March increased prices.

Brightstock base oil spot prices were assessed for March at $4.87-5.00/gal.

The US is the largest Group II supplier to the rest of the world, with about 65% of market share.

By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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