Japan’s lubricants production and domestic lubricant demand both surged by almost 50% in April, compared to the same month last year, according to data released May 31 by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Economy. Those numbers tracked economic recovery in Japan and overseas markets.
Domestic lubricant sales jumped 49% to 193,528 kiloliters (174,000 metric tons), up from 129,563 kL, and higher than any monthly total in 2021. The peak last year was 147,253 kL in July.
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Production of lubricants in April, 249,339 kL, was up 47% from 169,552 kL and was higher than for any month last year. Last year’s production high of 202,110 occurred in March.
Lubricant exports increased 9% to 71,698 kL in April, and imports grew 27% to 28,554 kL.
Japan’s economy picked up in April, although some weakness was seen, mainly due to the impact of COVID-19 and a rise in commodity prices, the Bank of Japan said in its Outlook for Economic Activity and Prices for April, released May 2.
Overseas economies have recovered generally, the bank noted, albeit with variation across countries and regions.
“In this situation, exports and industrial production have continued to increase as a trend, despite the remaining effects of supply-side constraints,” the bank said in its outlook.
It added that private consumption has started picking up again, with downward pressure stemming from COVID-19 – particularly on services consumption – waning.