BEIJING – Chinas appetite for high-quality base oils is about to take a giant leap forward, an official at Group III refiner SK Corp. predicted. As a result, Group III 4-centiStoke base stock, in demand for high-quality passenger car engine oils, will be extremely short in the Asian market before the arrival of gas-to-liquid base stocks at the end of the decade.
Yea-Sun Yoon, general manager of Korean refiner SK Corp.s base oil business, told the Fuels & Lubes Asia Conference here on March 16 that growing Asian demand, combined with strong demand in North America and Europe, will result in very tight supplies of Group III 4cSt oils for Asian markets. On the other hand, he predicted that Group II and III 3cSt (used for white oils globally, and in automatic transmission fluids and process oils in the United States) and 6cSt (used for heavy-duty and higher viscosity engine oils) will be long in Asia. Some lighter grades may need new applications to absorb the supply, he said.