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Coronavirus Ravages Refinery Runs

The Covid-19 outbreak is proving to be the most disruptive event for the base oils and refining industry since the Great Recession of 2008, causing refiners to cut back on production or temporarily shutter operations altogether, sources tell Lube Report.

Mexico on Verge of Change

Mexicos ongoing changes - including a new president and a revised Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada - will shape its economic future, with possible ramifications for its lubricant and base oil markets, an industry insider said at the ICIS Pan American Base Oils & Lubricants Conference.

Motorcycle Oils Do Heavy Lifting in Asia

Motorcycles and scooters are the preferred mode of transportation in many Asian countries, and while new environmental regulations drive the formulation of their lubricants, they are also affected by several other factors, an industry expert said at the ICIS Asian Base Oils & Lubricants conference.

ExxonMobil Expanding Again in Singapore

ExxonMobil announced Tuesday that it is planning a multi-billion dollar expansion at its Singapore refining complex, which will increase output of API Group II base stocks and clean fuels. This project would be in addition to the expansion currently underway at its existing Group II plant there.

Trafigura Acquires Blend Plant in Argentina

Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd. closed last month on the purchase of most of Pampa Energias downstream assets in Argentina. The transaction includes a lubricants manufacturing plant in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, Trafigura reported in a press release.

Shortage Seen for High-VI Base Oils

Engine oil markets are shifting toward lower viscosity products that require high viscosity index base stocks, and it may be difficult for the refining industry to supply enough of them, two industry insiders said at the ICIS Asia Base Oils & Lubricants Conference here last month.

Asia Trends To Group II, Stays Long in Group III

Asia may produce most of the worlds API Group III base stocks, but it still clings to Group I and II in lube formulations, an industry consultant told the ICIS Base Oils & Lubricants Conference last month.

Hyundai and Shell Open Base Oil Plant

Hyundai and Shell Base Oil Co. announced the opening of its API Group II plant in Daesan, South Korea, on Sept. 25.

Shipping Industry Treads Water

Despite strong demand, the shipping industry faces challenges that could impact availability of chemical tankers used to ship base stocks, an industry insider said at a recent lubricant industry conference in Singapore.

Petronas Faces New EU Tariff

Petronas faces new duties of 3.7 percent on base oil exports to the European Union after adjustments to the EUs trade policy caused Malaysia to lose preferential status.
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