Volume 9 Issue 6

Shell Mulls Group II in Singapore

British energy giant Shell is considering building an API Group II base oil unit at its refinery on Singapore’s Pulau Bukom island, apparently at least in part to supply its nearby finished lubricant plant on the nation’s main island. A final investment decision has not been made on the project, and Shell indicated that the plant would not be built before 2025. The company declined to discuss capacity.

Base Oils: Will the Pendulum Swing Back?

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a long, large, global run-up in base oil prices, as well as profit margins, with the latter increasing anywhere from two- to five-fold by last summer. Since then, however, prices and margins have plateaued, and some market insiders predict the industry is headed back to pre-pandemic conditions, when a chronic surplus of capacity exerted downward pressure on prices and compressed margins.

Profits Rise for Castrol India, Dip for Gulf

Castrol India Ltd. reported nearly a 30% increase in profits for 2021, although sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31 were flat. Profits for the quarter were down for Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd., Apar Industries Ltd.’s transformer oils and specialty oil segment and Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd.’s greases and lubricants segment, while profits rose for GP Petroleums Ltd.

Auto Demand Keeps Rising in China

The number of new motor vehicle registrations in China – including cars, trucks and motorcycles – rose 10% in 2021, compared to 2020, and was also up 14% compared to 2019, as the country’s vehicle parc reached 395 million, according to statistics released last month by a government ministry. Nationwide, the number of newly registered vehicles in the county reached 36.7 million, up from 33.3 million in 2020 and higher than 32.1 million in 2019.

From Other Editions of Lube Report

U.S. to Seize Sime Darby Palm Products

Minsk Stock Exchange Hosts Lube Trades

Profits Fall at Afton, Mixed for Valvoline

Briefly Noted

Japan’s sales of new automobiles declined 14% to 329,699 in January, compared to the same month last year, according to data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. Passenger car sales in the country slipped 16% to 272,445 for the month, down from 324,546.