21 November 2013 09:24 [Source: ICIS news]
BRISBANE (ICIS)--Asian Group I base oils market remained quiet for the past two weeks after earlier decreases in SN500 prices led buyers to stay on the sidelines, said market sources on Thursday.
Group I prices for SN500 fell by $50/tonne to $1,000-1,020/tonne (€750-765/tonne) FOB (free on board) Asia in the week ended 8 November, according to data from ICIS.
Buyers in the Group I market remained firmly on the sidelines as they perceived the market as oversupplied and were expecting prices to fall further.
Prices of heavy grade brightstock softened by $20/tonne to $1,140-1,150/tonne FOB Asia in the week ended 8 November because of the onset of the winter oil-change season, which sees greater demand for light grade base oils.
SN500 and brightstock prices were unchanged in the week ended 15 November after the earlier falls.
Light grade SN150 were unchanged at $950-970/tonne FOB Asia in the week ended 15 November since end-September.
Trade for light grade SN150 lots were inactive because of high captive usage.
A northeast Asian refiner said that refining margins are under pressure and most are unwilling to drop their prices further.
“Most buyers are just testing waters for lower prices,” the refiner added.
Base oils prices are expected to remain under downward pressure in the coming weeks as demand winds down towards the year-end on the back of poor downstream lubricants market conditions, market participants said.
($1 = €0.75)
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