German lube blender Fuchs Petrolub expected base oils prices were likely to bottom out in the Americas market in the second quarter of the year.
Such a development would follow several rounds of US refiner posted-price decreases during the first four months of the year.
The blender expected potential small-scale increases in base oils prices in the Europe, Mideast Gulf and Africa and the Asia-Pacific markets in the second quarter.
European Group I and Group II base oils prices fell sharply in the first quarter because of surplus supply and weaker-than-usual demand.
Asia-Pacific Group I and Group II prices fell less steeply during the first quarter.
Fuchs expected prices for additive packages and other raw materials to “slightly decrease at best”, it said in a first-quarter conference-call presentation.
The blender maintained its 2023 forecast of €390mn earnings before interest and taxes, up 7pc from €365mn last year.