Japans lubricant demand is forecasted to rebound marginally this year to 1.2 million metric tons due to demand from the industrial and automotive sectors, according to the Petroleum Association of Japan.
The countrys total demand for lubricants is expected to increase by around 0.4 percent this year, the PAJ said in a report released last week. Demand for automotive lubricants is expected to increase 0.2 percent to roughly 477,875 tons despite a slowdown in exports of automobiles to North America and China.
Marine lubricants consumption is projected to fall 7.7 percent to 63,700 tons as cargo transportation volumes remain stagnant. According to a forecast by Nittsu Research Institute and Consulting Inc., Japans total volume of sea cargo for 2017 is expected to continue to fall by 0.1 percent, almost unchanged for the past three years.
Government spending is likely to drive industrial activities, nudging demand for industrial lubricants up 1.3 percent to over 714,000 tons.
The Tokyo-based PAJ, which is composed of 18 oil refiners and primary distributors in Japan, noted that the countrys total lubricant consumption fell 3.2 percent in 2016. It had forecast a 0.6 percent decline.
In 2016, marine lubricants decreased the most, slipping 8.2 percent to 69,000 tons. Automotive lubricant consumption dropped 4.8 percent to approximately 477,000 tons. Industrial lubricants volumes decreased 1.4 percent to around 705,300 tons.