A Look at Retail Prices
With six lubricant price increases in 2021, seven when the most recent increase for synthetics is included, the price lubricant marketers currently pay to bring product in has moved up by close to 140%. While this represents a historical escalation in price, as shown below, it’s clear that the increases have yet to make a showing on retail shelves.
Further, while the gap between the leading brands and big box retailer’s private label conventional PCMO has compressed by close to 6%, the gap for full synthetic remains nearly unchanged from 2019 to 2021.
The average price for SAE 5W-30 conventional passenger car motor oil at the leading big box retailer reached $4.38 a quart in September of 2021, up from $4.19 in 2019. This represents an increase of 4.3% for the period. The gap between leading brands of PCMO (Pennzoil, Castro, Mobil, and Valvoline) and the leading retailer’s private label brand tightened by 6.3% over the period. The percent difference between the store brand and that of the brand leaders is currently 31.1%.
The average price for synthetic SAE 5W-30 PCMO at the leading big box retailer reached $6.93 a quart in 2021, up from $6.89 in 2019. This represents an increase of only 0.6% for the period. The gap between brand leading PCMOs and the leading retailer’s private label brand remained nearly the same over the period.