US Group I paraffinic base oil prices rise on supply issues

11 March 2013 20:39  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Group I paraffinic base oil posted prices are moving higher on narrowing supply in the heavy neutral grades, buyers and sellers confirmed on Monday.

HollyFrontier confirmed that, from 11 March, it will raise prices on its heavy neutral 525 grade by 10 cents/gal and place a 20 cent/gal increase on its brightstock.

Paulsboro Refining Company (PRC) verified that it will raise its heavy grade 700 vis by 10 cents/gal from 12 March.

PRC is also raising its brightstock by 20 cents/gal on the same effective date.

Group I producer Calumet confirmed that it will move prices up on its 700 viscosity by 10 cents/gal and on its brightstock by 20 cents/gal, both effective from 13 March.

The largest Group I base oil producer is ExxonMobil, with 9,800 bbl/day of Group I production capacity at its Baytown, Texas, facility and 14,500 bbl/day at its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, location.

Buyers and sellers earlier verified that ExxonMobil has raised its 600 viscosity basestock prices by 10 cents/gal effective from 7 March, with brightstock prices increased by 20 cents/gal on the same date.

ExxonMobil does not comment on its prices but, according to data gathered from other industry sources, the company’s posted price on brightstock after the increase is $4.41/gal.

HollyFrontier’s downtime because of an extensive maintenance run in the fourth quarter of 2012 was said to form part of the narrowing supply of brightstock and heavy-viscosity base oils that some sources say support the price increases.

However, others also attribute crimped supply of the heavy grades to collapsed base oil margins that have encouraged some producers to crack the oils to fuels for the margin gain, also narrowing overall base-oil output.


By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653



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