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Highline Warren, AOCUSA, and Nu-Tier/Gulf Lubricants announce increases

It what appeared to be inevitable due to continuing and substantial increases in costs, we are now looking at a 4th round of lubricant price increases in 2021. 

The increases this time around are said to be the result of another significant series of base oil increases, capped off by Motiva’s announcement last week that it was moving up another 40-55cpg, a second round of additive increases in the past three months, and continuing increases in freight costs, packaging, and other inputs.

Clearly these are unprecedented times. One would have to look back to 2011 to see pricing dynamics similar to what we are now witnessing with regards to the number and frequency of price increases. But even then, there was some breathing room between the increases.

The following are the most recent announced price adjustments.

  • Highline Warren announced yesterday that the price on all its lubricant products will increase by up to 12%. The increases will go into effect with shipments on or after May 5, 2021. Highline says the price adjustments are necessary due to another sizable round of base oil increases, additive increases, and increases in the price of resin, steel, corrugated, and pallets.
  • AOCUSA announced that effective May 3, 2021, it will increase the price for all its branded and private labeled oils, chemicals, and greases by 3 to 15%. The adjustments are said to be due to the continuing increases in the cost of additives, base oils, plastic resins, corrugated, transportation, and insurance. In addition to increasing product prices, AOCUSA advised there will be increases in ancillary charges.
  • Nu-Tier Brands / Gulf Lubricants announced a general price increase of 10% to 15% effective April 30, 2021 on all finished lubricants and greases. The company says the adjustments are necessary due to rising costs associated with raw materials and manufacturing.
  • Safety-Kleen advised its customers it will increase prices on all lubricants and related products by up to 15%, with adjustments varying by product segment and SKU. The increase is effective with orders placed on or after April 15, 2021. Safety-Kleen attributes the need for the price adjustment to significant increases in the cost of raw material used in the manufacturing of its lubricants.
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