Argus is first to launch US Group 3 base oils prices
Houston, 14 January 2011 (Argus)
International energy pricing agency Argus today launched assessments for US Group 3 base oil prices. These are the first assessments in the US for spot Group 3 base oils — the key component in high-end engine lubricants.
The new assessments follow Argus’ launch of European Group 3 base oil prices in May 2010, the first price assessments in the world for spot Group 3 base oils.
Argus launched these price assessments in response to a changing lubricants industry, which is consuming larger volumes of high-quality base oils. Engine oils are required to meet increasingly stringent fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions standards throughout the world.
The US introduced new GF-5 engine oil specifications in October last year to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and engine cleanliness. Those specifications become mandatory in October 2011. European motor fuel specifications are already among the tightest in the world. Production of these higher-quality engine lubricating oils requires the use of high-end lubricant feedstock such as Group 3 base oils.
The US and Europe are the largest markets for Group 3 base oils, while Asia-Pacific is the largest producer of Group 3 base oils. New production facilities in Bahrain and Qatar are set to start up this year, making the Mideast Gulf a major producer of Group 3 base oils, almost all destined for the export market.
"The base oils market needs a reliable pricing infrastructure to support the increasing international trade in Group 3 base oils and to facilitate risk management of that trade. We are pleased to be the first to provide benchmark US Group 3 spot price assessments to facilitate this development,” Argus chairman and chief executive Adrian Binks said.
The new prices are published weekly in Argus Base Oils, a global report covering base oil prices in key markets around the world.
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