19 February 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European Group I base oil export prices have climbed by $10-20/tonne (€8-15/tonne) this week, depending on grade, because of improved demand and reduced supply, sources said on Tuesday.
European export prices across all grades have risen, as traders book cargoes at higher numbers to meet improved demand.
“The market is still very strong. People are offering me very big premiums if I can get the product out,” said a southern European producer.
Many European producers remain at reduced production rates because of poor base oil margins, and these ongoing curtailments have also lent support to prices.
“Margins are very low,” said a southwest European producer.
“I think all refineries are cutting production like us.”
Heading into the annual ICIS World Base Oils and Lubricants Conference in London, export prices are on an uptrend, but are below the levels seen this time last year.
Domestic base oil prices are largely stagnant at present, as producers struggle to push through increases.
Many participants are looking ahead to the forthcoming conference, during which they hope to see more clarification on domestic market demand and pricing.
European SN150 export prices were assessed up by $15-20/tonne this week at $940-970/tonne FOB (free on board) Europe, by ICIS.
European SN500 export was assessed up by $15-20/tonne, with brightstock export higher by $10-20/tonne, to $990-1,010/tonne FOB and $1,040-1,070/tonne FOB respectively.
The ICIS World Base Oils and Lubricants Conference runs from 21-22 February.
($1 = €0.75)
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