Idemitsu in Flux in Asia

Japans Idemitsu Kosan Co. will supply finished lubricants from its blending plant in Vietnam to Southeast Asia by next year to strengthen its lubricant supply chain in the region, a company spokesman told Lube Report Asia in a telephone interview recently.

We plan to start exporting finished lubricants from our blending plant in Vietnam by March 2016 to Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries, said the spokesman. The plant in Vietnam will produce about 19,000 kiloliters per year of lubricants, and about 6,000 kiloliters will be exported to the region. The rest will be sold in Vietnam. Idemitsu Kosan did not disclose the type of lubricants to be exported but said the blending plant in Haiphong city, set up in January last year, produces two-wheel and four-wheel engine oils and industrial lubricants. The plant has a production capacity of 35,000 kiloliters/y.

In June last year, Idemitsu Kosan set up its Asia regional headquarters, Idemitsu Lube Asia Pacific, in Singapore and began base oil procurement there for its four blending plants in the region. The company also transferred its research and development center from Thailand to Singapore. Idemitsu Kosans blending plants in the region are located in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

We hope to ensure a stable supply for our regional users, and as a secondary advantage we were able to reduce cost, added the spokesman. To improve efficiency, the company set a goal of rationalizing its marketing and distribution divisions.

For the financial year ending March 2015, Idemitsu Kosans lubricant sales volume was about 1.05 million kiloliters, with overseas sales accounting for 46 percent of that volume. The company plans to increase its share of overseas sales by March 2016 to more than 50 percent and total sales to 1.21 million kiloliters.

According to the companys annual report for the financial year ended March 2015, released last week, Assisted by the expansion of overseas sales mainly in China, the company recorded the largest volume in its history, whereas domestic sales decreased from the previous fiscal year due partly to decreased demand affected by the consumption tax increase.

According to the report, the company set up its sixth Chinese sales base, in Beijing, the core of the automobile industry in China, following its main office in Tianjin, factories and offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou, and sales offices in Changchun and Chongqing.

In the future, the company will promote the development of environment-friendly products and functional materials products in response to technological innovation. The company will also accelerate global deployment through the expansion of production bases in overseas countries, said the report.