Finished lubricant prices heading upward on rising base oil costs

03 September 2013 22:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Finished lubricant prices are heading up on rising base oil costs, market sources said on Tuesday.

“Shell Oil moved up for September,” one buyer confirmed.

Other industry sources confirmed that Shell Oil Products US has advised concerned groups that it will have a general price increase of up to 4% on finished lubricant products effective 23 September.

Additional sources said that ExxonMobil earlier announced that it is increasing its lubricant prices by up to 4% effective 29 August, with Chevron confirmed to have announced a 3-6% increase on its lubricant prices effective 9 October.

Shell Oil Products US is considered to be a leader in the finished lubricant business, along with BP and others.

BP has not confirmed finished lubricant price increases, but as the higher lubricant prices are being driven by recent increases in feedstock base oils, more finished lube hikes are anticipated, market sources said.

Both paraffinic and naphthenic base oils are primary feedstocks for finished lubricants.

Beginning late July, paraffinic base oil price increases entered the market as Chevron announced 25 cents/gal higher posted prices effective 26 July.

Other paraffinic increases came into the market during August, mostly ranging from 10-15 cents/gal with various effective dates.

Naphthenic base oil increases ranging from 10-20 cents/gal, depending upon the supplier, also began in late July and spanned throughout August.

ExxonMobil’s brightstock base oil prices were at $4.56/gal (€0.92/litre) for US Gulf Coast material following the most recent increase.

ExxonMobil does not comment on its price increases.

Naphthenic heavy grade Pale 2400 spot prices ranged $3.45-3.92/gal following the initial price drive, with upward pressure continuing on the  base oil because of sharp demand from tyre applications.

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($1 = €0.76)

By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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