Europe Group III base oils market faces April pricing uncertainty

25 March 2014 17:32 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--A difference of opinion over Group III base oils prices in April has emerged among participants in Europe, sources said on Tuesday.

Group III base oil sellers remain keen to increase prices. However, fears of losing out on customers had previously prevented them from pushing through their price hikes.

A distributor said it expects prices may increase at the low end by €10/tonne in April, with producers now succeeding in their attempted prices hikes.

A supplier said it would maintain its prices for both 4 and 6 centistoke (cSt) grades at around the low end of the current ICIS range.

It added, however, that it had experienced higher levels of demand for 6 cSt base oils, and in most cases was able to charge around €10/tonne higher than the 4 cSt option.

In spite of this, a buyer said it was confident prices would remain stable heading into April.

It notes that the oversupply in the market would continue to pressurise prices going forward, and this would become more apparent during the second half of 2014 when the Repsol/SK Oil plant comes on-stream in Cartagena, Spain.

By Neha Popat