Japans sales of base oils used in the production of lubricants rose about half a percentage point in 2016 to approximately 2.1 million metric tons, due mainly to an increase in demand from engine oil blenders, according to data released by the countrys Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Sales of base oils, including domestic production and imports, increased by 0.5 percent last year mainly due to an increase of 6 percent, or 209,470 tons, of feedstock required for automotive lubricants. Base oils used in metalworking fluids jumped up by around 8.5 percent to 123,752 tons.
However, sales of base oils used in other industrial lubricants formulations fell 7 percent, to approximately 290,650 tons. The volume of base oils used in gasoline engine oil manufacturing fell 1.6 percent to 360,000 tons, and sales to the marine diesel engine oil industry fell 5.3 percent to 128,684 tons.
Despite a slight increase in sales of base stocks for diesel engine oils the previous year, sales fell 0.3 percent to 195,000 tons in 2016.
Grease production dipped 4.6 percent to 64,000 tons, but imports jumped 21 percent to 1,231 tons. Grease sales of locally produced and imported material fell 0.6 percent to 59,409 tons, but exports increased 13.5 percent to 1,018 tons. About 90 percent of exports went to Asia.