Europe Group I base oil prices slip on weak demand

27 November 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European Group I base oil prices have declined this week as ongoing sluggish demand takes its toll, market sources said on Tuesday.

It is a buyers’ market, sellers concede, but one that lacks actual firm buyers. The result of this low demand is market stagnation and weakening sentiment.

Domestic prices saw the largest decline this week, following a $50/tonne (€39/tonne) list price reduction by a west European supplier.

“It is really depressing,” said a trader, talking about the northwest European Group I market. “There is zero demand.”

Downstream, finished lubricant demand continues to disappoint and this viewpoint was supported by statistics released this week by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association which showed that new commercial vehicle registrations were down 9.4% in October compared with the same month last year, and fell 10.6% year on year for the January-October 2012 period.

Base oil exporters reported limited sale opportunities amid a slow, weak market.

“It is not a very good market in this period, at all,” said a south European producer.

Domestic solvent neutral (SN) 150 prices were assessed down $30-35/tonne this week to $1,095-1,125/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) by ICIS.

Export SN150 prices were assessed down $10/tonne at $920-950/tonne FOB Europe.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Carl Roache
+44 20 8652 3214

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