Slow Growth Forecast in Japan


The Petroleum Association of Japan forecasts that lubricant demand in Japan will increase 0.5 percent this year to 1,539,000 kiloliters.

The group expects a recovering Japanese economy to spur a 2.2 percent increase in demand for industrial oils, to 883,000 kiloliters. However, the automotive segment is set to decline.

Trend changes in the automotive market will lead to a fall [of] 1.7 percent compared to last year, to 563,000 kiloliters, the PAJ said in a report. Although the Japanese economy is expected to remain firm, the trend of falling volume of lubricants-per-vehicle consumption is expected to continue. In addition, a consumption tax hike scheduled to take effect next April will likely lead to a decline in domestic sales of automobiles, which will also erode lube demand.

For the shipping sector, lubricant consumption fell last year by 4.1 percent, to 93,000 kiloliters, due to a fall in demand from large ships and foreign vessels. The number of container ships is expected to increase this year, thanks to a recovery in industrial output and a weaker Japanese yen, which is boosting exports. Domestic lubricant consumption of marine lubes is likely to remain unchanged, at 93,000 kiloliters, the association said.

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