Domestic Group I base oil prices stagnate in slow market

23 April 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European Group I domestic base oil prices held steady this week amid a quiet market, sources said on Tuesday.

Spot prices are unchanged this week on both the domestic barge and truck markets.

According to most sources, demand is stable at a low level.

“From a trader’s perspective, it is really boring,” said a European trader.

Declining crude oil and vacuum gasoil (VGO) prices upstream have created uncertainty which is encouraging a wait-and-see approach among base oil buyers.

Buyers expect lower base oils values, but refineries are likely to resist declines in the short-term, after a long period of pressurised margins.

The increased presence of imported Group II base oils from the US and Asia is also playing a part in the sluggish Group I market.

“There is definitely more Group II. We have swung a lot of Group I [offtake] into Group II,” said a northwest European buyer.

European domestic solvent neutral (SN) 150 prices (volumes of 500 tonnes and above) were assessed steady at $1,065-1,095/tonne (€820-843/tonne) FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe) this week, by ICIS.

Domestic spot truck SN150 prices were also assessed unchanged at €830-870/tonne FCA (free carrier) NWE.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Carl Roache
+44 20 8652 3214

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