US finished lubricant prices fall on lower base oil costs

26 November 2012 20:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Finished lubricant prices in the US are falling because of lower base oil costs, market sources said on Monday.

“We are seeing engine lube costs go down in November,” one source said.

Industry sources said decreases of 30 cents/gal were announced by base oil and finished lube producer Phillips 66, along with the supplier’s grease prices falling by 2 cents/lb, all effective in November business.

Chevron also announced price decreases of up to 4% on its finished lubricants, gear oils and greases, effective on 10 December.

Finished lubricant producer Citgo is implementing 30 cent/gal decreases on lube products and 2 cent/lb decreases on greases, effective on 16 December, sources said.

Amalie, another major in the finished lubricant sector, is said to be reducing prices by 32 cents/gal for lube oils shipped after 26 November and dropping greases by 4 cents/lb, with no date specified on the grease products.

Finished lubricant and grease products are the key end-use products for base oils because base oils form the basic carrier oil for a variety of ingredients. These ingredients include additive packages and other performance related chemicals.

Finished lube products include the engine oils, greases, transmission oils and numerous other lubricants that go into the upkeep and performance of vehicles.

Base oil prices fell sharply in November, with most Group I paraffinic base stocks falling by 20-21 cents/gal and Group II by 25-48 cents/gal.

Naphthenic base oil prices also decreased in November, falling 20-21 cents/gal for most grades.

ExxonMobil’s posted price for 100 viscosity Group I paraffinic stock was at $3.70/gal following the November reductions. Other grades varied by viscosity classification according to the producer.  

Finished lubricant prices typically follow base oil prices up or down, lagging the base oil reductions by various time spans, but usually by about a month.

Since finished lubricants form a wide variety of products handled by well over 100 different market participants, those prices are not tracked as commodities.

By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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