Japan Demand Fell in 2020

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Japan consumed 1.4 million kiloliters (1.3 million metric tons) of finished lubricants in 2020, down 13% from 1.6 million kL in 2019, according to data released Feb. 9 by a government agency. December consumption was 138,262 kL, 13% higher than the same month in 2019.

The December consumption total, represented a rebound from 124,191 kL in November and was the country’s highest monthly total in 2020. Its second highest monthly total was 133,229 kL in October. Negative impacts from the pandemic hit hardest in May when consumption fell to 98,100 kL, 27% lower than the same month of 2019. The second-lowest volume was in August at 101,588 kL.

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Japan’s economic growth likely moderated in 2020’s fourth quarter after rebounding from its worst postwar recession earlier in the year, a Reuters poll showed, and the news service reported on Feb. 7 it was a sign households and companies have yet to recover from the coronavirus pandemic’s huge hit.   Consumer sentiment in January was further chilled following the declaration of a state of emergency in the country, according to the Japan Center for Economic Research report, and Japan’s economic outlook is considered highly uncertain.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the nation’s production of lubricants – which includes exports – declined 13% to 2 million liters in 2020. In December, the production increased to 178,816 kL, up 5% from 169,520 kL.

Japan’s lowest monthly lubricant production total of 2020 was 144,549 kL in May, and its high of 194,788 kL was in March.

Imports and exports of lubricants were down for both the full year and in December. Imports fell to 17% to 195,920 kL, while exports slid 11% to 749,232 kL.

In December, Imports decreased 5% to 20,108 kL, while exports declined 12% to 62,856 kL.

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Asia    Finished Lubricants    Japan    Market Topics    Region