SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot prices of Group I SN500 base oils in Iran were stable in the week ended 11 January for the first time since November amid a lack of deals done and as buyers resisted recent price hikes.
Offers of Group I SN500 from one key Iranian producer were still higher this week, at $820/tonne FOB (free on board) Iran compared with the previous week when the offers were at $815/tonne FOB Iran.
However, offers and discussions for SN500 from other Iranian producers were largely limited.
Another Iranian producer indicated that it would consider resuming negotiations next week, but provided no further details.
There has been no reported disruption to output or trade linked to the violent protests which affected several Iranian cities in late December and early January.
Buyers of Group I base oils, however, continued to push back against recent price increases with some saying that current price levels are not considered workable.
The persistent increase in offer levels is believed to be due to the trend in crude oil prices and also due to the very tight spot availability of SN500.
However, the presence of non-Iran-origin SN500 heard to be available to buyers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could increase price competition for Iranian refiners.