Japan consumed 101,588 kiloliters of finished lubricants in August, according to data released recently by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, a decline from two months earlier in terms of both raw numbers and year-to-year performance.
This year’s August volumes were 13% lower than the same month of 2019. In June, the market consumed 116,177 kL, or 104,000 metric tons, which was 8% lower than June of 2019.
The decline stems from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic along with various measures taken to stem its spread, including sharp reductions in personal travel and decreasing purchases of items such as automobiles. Registrations of new passenger cars, trucks and buses fell 15% in the third quarter to 1.2 million, compared to the same period of last year, according to data released by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
The nation’s production of lubricants, which includes exports, declined 5% year-over-year to 171,521 kL. Imports and exports of lubricants showed improved results. Imports increased 9% year-over-year to 20,483 kL in August, and exports climbed 22% to 80,930 kL.