Base oils-Lubes Prices, markets & analysis
Whichever regional Base oils-Lubes markets you work in, ICIS offers the thorough pricing information you need to operate with confidence.
Our insights into regional Base oils-Lubes markets are provided by our network of reporters based locally in those markets.
This enables us to provide in-depth price assessments and market coverage that are reliable and up-to-date on the very latest developments.
Base Oils-lubes overview Transcript
Base Oils are a synonym for base-stocks, they are mixed with additives to form finished lubricants. Biggest end-use is the automotive sector and there’s a big trend right now for higher quality base stocks, so we’re actually seeing some consolidation of our Group 1 Base Oil plants and a bigger move to Group 2, Group 3 and even gas-to-liquids plants.
Automotive emission standards are the biggest factor affecting base oils.
There’s also a seasonality factor. Heavy drive season that’s usually May to September, that’s when demand is the strongest for base oils.
How we can help
Base oils-Lubes news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Base oils-Lubes analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Base oils-Lubes marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Base oils-Lubes
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Base oils-Lubes
Track historical price data
News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Base oils-Lubes
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Base oils-Lubes: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2015
Efforts late in the first quarter to raise posted prices in Group II base oils have failed to gain a following among all base oil producers, leaving the second quarter open to price uncertainty in the US.
Supply/demand fundamentals are improving, with heavy discounting and Temporary Voluntary Allowances (TVAs) fading from the market.
Group I heavy grades are considered to be in snug supply early in the second quarter and are likely to remain so throughout the quarter.
The underpinning reasons stem from production cutbacks due to the low price of crude oil and the compression of the Group I tier as Group II production becomes the prevalent base oil in US production.
US export activity continues to increase as Group II producers target South America and Europe as destinations for burgeoning production.
Asia’s Group I base oil spot prices are likely to be stable to firm going into the second quarter on the back of snug spot availability and healthy demand for SN500 and brightstock. An upcoming turnaround at a major northeast Asia-based Group I refiner is expected to contribute to the tight supply situation. As for Group II base oils, the resumption of operations at two key northeast Asia-based units following shutdowns for maintenance since March is expected to relieve tight supply for Group II 500/600N cargoes.
European Group I base oil prices appear were at the beginning of an upward trend at the close of the first quarter, and this appears likely to continue for some weeks at least. While feedstock prices have been more or less stable, support for prices is coming from reduced supply, as some refineries have announced closures while others performed maintenance turnarounds.
News & analysis
Base oils-Lubes news & analysis
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Base oils-Lubes, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
Base Oils-Lubes Methodology
About Base oils-Lubes
Base oils are the main component of finished lubricants and are derived from the heavy crude oil fraction in vacuum distillation. They are refined to impart physical and chemical properties that will make a good lubricant. Most base oils are combined with small amounts of chemical additives to form the finished lubricants such as motor oil.
The traditional method of making base oils involves solvent extraction to remove aromatic compounds and solvent dewaxing to take out unwanted waxes. More recently hydroprocessing techniques employing hydrogen and catalysts have been used to make base oils.
Group I base oils which are mostly produced by solvent processing are used in less demanding applications. Group II and III base oils are produced by hydroprocessing and used in higher performing lubricants. Group IV base oils are synthetic oils typically based on polyalphaolefins (PAOs). Group V oils are used in the formulation of oil additives.