Japan Lubes Output Keeps Climbing


Japan Lubes Output Keeps Climbing

Japan’s lubricant consumption and production were both higher in July than in the same period last year and remained ahead of the pace of the same month in 2019.

The country’s domestic lubricant consumption volume grew 23% to 147,253 kiloliters (132,000 metric tons) in July, compared with 119,289 kL in the same month last year, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported. It was the second consecutive month that consumption topped 140,000 kL. July’s total also exceeded by 11% the 132,798 kL mark in July 2019.

In July, the nation’s lubricant production – including volumes that were exported – increased 6% to 189,279 kL, up from 178,767 kL, according to the ministry’s recently released data.

The July export total of 77,167 kL was up 25% from 61,891 kL and topped its July 2019 mark of 67,775 by 14%. Imports rose 120% to 23,585 kL, compared with 10,722 kL, and topped the 14,244 kL mark in July 2019 by 66%.

The Japan Center for Economic Research said in an Aug. 10 recession indicator report that the country’s Leading Index of underlying economic data rose for the first time in two months due to improvements in consumer confidence, new job offers and inventory ratio of producer goods for mining and manufacturing, among other factors. The center noted that the country’s recession probability remains significantly below 67%, which is a reference point for signaling a recession, but it warned that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat to the country’s economy.

However, a state of emergency has been declared in Tokyo and other prefectures since July, and the number of newly infected people is increasing rapidly, so the economic outlook is highly uncertain,” the center stated in the report. Japan’s government on Aug. 17 extended its COVID-19 state of emergency to Sept. 12 in response to a rise in coronavirus cases nationwide attributed to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant. The extended state of emergency also added seven additional prefectures, and now covers 13.

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