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Updated to Q4 2019
Middle East Group I base oils supply is expected to remain mostly stable in Q4. Persistent tensions between the US and Iran are expected to be key determining factors although Iran has been actively trying to sidestep sanctions. This is expected to continue in Q4, although the geopolitical situation could lead to further disruptions.
Demand from the UAE is expected to remain stable to soft in Q4 as buyers fret about deteriorating relations between the US, its Gulf allies and Iran. Demand for Iranian Group I could also persist from countries such as India. However, reduced demand can reasonably be expected from other countries in northeast Asia that are facing pressure from the US to reduce trade with Iran.
Middle East Group II 150N and 500N spot supply is expected to be stable. While some major refiners appear to have more spot supply available, supply of deep-sea cargoes is not expected to be in abundance. Regional geopolitical tensions could affect supply.
Demand is expected to remain largely stable as the Middle East is not a major consumer of Group II base oils relative to Asia. US sanctions on Iranian crude exports, the US-Iran dispute as well as US-China trade tensions continue to cloud the base oils market. Improvement in demand is expected to be mild, with further clarity in the market needed to spur demand.
Middle East Group III base oils supply is expected to be stable in Q4. Supply could increase if talks of expansion plans materialize, but Middle Eastern refiners are largely tied to contractual obligations and focus largely on certain export markets, and hence available spot volumes are likely to be limited. Limited actual volumes are also expected to be offered to local buyers due to the relatively smaller size of the market there.
Middle East Group III base oils demand is expected to be stable, with the key producers in the region remaining focused on export markets in Asia and the US. Group III consumption in the Middle East is limited and largely opportunistic. No fundamental changes are expected in the Middle East Group III market, but some local market players still eyeing some arbitrage deals – buying at local prices and re-exporting.
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.
News & analysis
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The main use for base oils is in the manufacture of lubricants, of which there are many thousands of types.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments, giving you a robust reference for your negotiations.
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With over 310 attendees coming from 40 countries, the Middle Eastern Base Oils & Lubricants Conference will provide new networking opportunities, a thought-leading plenary keynote and interactive roundtables to help you identify the best opportunities in the market and stay ahead of the competition.