In this Issue of Jobbers World Online News Briefs
  • Another round of Price Increases
  • Shell moves too!
  • Valvoline ups finished lubricant prices 3.5 to 5.5%
  • The same goes for Citgo; prices move up
  • Shell Meets with its Marketers- Less One

  • Another round of Price Increases

    It what comes as no surprise, more majors jumped on the Castrol and ExxonMobil price increase bandwagon over the last week. On February 3rd ConocoPhillips announced it would raise prices for all its finished lubricants by approximately 4 to 8% effective March 1, 2006. The details of this increase will reportedly be made available to ConocoPhillips marketers and direct served customers on February 13.

    Shell moves too!

    Although some in the industry thought Shell might take a pass on this round of price increases, they didn’t. Instead, on January 30th it too announced a price increase.

    According to a number of marketers this increase bumped the price of Pennzoil, Quaker State, Wolf’s Head and Shell lubricants. In addition, private label products also went up. Shell’s drummed products reportedly went up $0.28 a gallon and packaged good moved $0.36 a gallon. Shell’s price for industrial lubricants reportedly moved up $0.40 a gallon and the price of its industrial gear oils and greases will be increased by $0.06 a pound. Shell’s price increases are said to take effect on March 1.

    Although Shell is clearly moving its finished lubricant prices up, word on the street is that Shell is motivated to more competitively price Quaker State in an effort to regain market share lost to gas brands and private label.

    Valvoline ups finished lubricant prices 3.5 to 5.5%

    According to industry sources Valvoline will move its prices up 3.5 to 5.5% on its bulk, packaged, pails, and drum lubricant product effective March 6, 2006. Like other majors, Valvoline attributes these increases to cost increases in base stocks, additives, raw materials and transportation.

    The same goes for Citgo; prices move up

    Just like the others, CITGO also announced a rice increase. Effective March 6 the price of CITGO, Mystik, unbranded and private label finished lubricants will reportedly increase by 4 to 8%.

    Shell Meets with its Marketers- Less One

    Following several meeting[less] years, Shell concluded its long awaited marketer’s meeting it Florida last week. According to a number of marketers Jobbers World spoke with about the meeting, the big news was not necessarily what happened at the meeting. Instead it was about what happened just prior to the meeting. The buzz on the street is that one of Shell’s larger multibranded jobbers in the Tennessee market did not get an invite to the bash. Instead, what it got was notification that its relationship with Shell was being unceremoniously severed. This obviously deemed the marketer persona non grata at the meeting and caused quite a stir among those that did attend the meeting. Many wondered what happened with the relationship and what it might mean for them moving forward.

    More Trouble for Base Stock Supply
    The last year has not been good to the supply of base stocks in the North American market. The most recent blow to supply was felt on February 1, 2006 when the Excel Paralubes plant owned jointly by ConocoPhillips and Flint Hills suffered an explosion. Although the details of the incident have not been disclosed, it is clear that the accident will seriously restrict the flow of Group II base stocks from this facility for some period of time. In fact, ConocoPhillips declared force majeure and will be allocating, based on existing inventories.

    But this is just one in a string of unfortunate incidences and announcements that has continued to take its toll on the North American base stock industry.

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