Europe base oil export prices assessed higher

10 September 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European Group I base oil export prices have been assessed higher this week, ICIS data showed on Wednesday.

A deal was confirmed for a 3,000 tonne cargo comprised of SN150, SN500 and brightstock, each priced at a premium of $20/tonne (€15/tonne) over the high of the previously published ICIS European export price range.

Prices for SN150 are assessed at $980-1,000/tonne FOB, SN500 at $1,010-1,030/tonne FOB and brightstock at $1,145-1,180/tonne FOB.

However, there appears to be a general lack of consensus regarding the market’s direction, with a wide range of offer prices indicated by other sources.

SN500 was offered at both the previous ICIS high and the previous ICIS price plus $10/tonne, while these were accompanied by offers for SN150 at the previous ICIS mean and the previous ICIS mean plus $10/tonne.

SN150 is more readily available than the heavier grades, and it was widely suggested that if a deal were to comprise exclusively of SN150, then a discount could be considered. If heavier material is also required however, higher prices will be requested for all grades involved.

Even for brightstock, supplies of which are unanimously described as tight, prices were heard in a wide range.

One producer in the Mediterranean said it would not consider prices lower than the previous ICIS high plus $40/tonne. Yet a trader said it had been offered brightstock from a different producer within the previous range.

Sources bemoaned the fact high feedstock prices have created a floor price that many producers cannot sell below, while equally difficult conditions in downstream markets mean consumers have a ceiling price. This disparity has led to quiet market conditions over the past weeks.

However, the trader involved in the confirmed deal said it was optimistic that buyers’ ability to pay higher prices was increasing, and that a greater amount of business would be conducted in the coming weeks.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Ross Yeo
+44 208 652 3214

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