Lithium supplier Livent Corp. suspended operations at its two Argentinian facilities this week in accordance with a national mandatory quarantine aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19. Meanwhile, the company suspended all capital expansion work, including a lithium hydroxide project in the United States and a lithium carbonate project in Argentina, according to an announcement Monday.
Vehicle sales for last year were up in Brazil and Colombia but down in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, according to data from a variety of automotive associations and agencies. The five countries have the largest national fleets among Latin American countries.
Malaysias Petronas Lubricants International recently closed its lubricant blending plant near Buenos Aires, Argentina, and canceled plans to build a larger plant, opting instead to contract with toll-blenders because of the country's ongoing economic crisis.
ExxonMobil is working to reposition its Mobil brand in some South American countries, including Argentina where it recently signed Cosans Moove to serve as distributor.
A consultant told an industry conference that lubricant companies can benefit from crude oil price volatility if they carry minimal inventories, accurately forecast sales and use a mix of long-term and spot contracts for base stock procurement.
The new owner of a blending plant in Avellaneda, Argentina has entered a contract to make lubricants for Puma Energy, and that means the facility will no longer blend for Petrobras.
The sidelining of base oil plants operated by Venezuelas national oil company may be crippling that nations lubricant industry, but markets elsewhere in South America are managing comfortably, industry insiders and observers say, thanks to dependence on other sources and plentiful supplies from the United States.
Shell announced last week the closing of its sale of downstream assets in Argentina to Raizen - a 50-50 joint venture between the oil major and Brazilian sugar producer Cosan - under a deal announced in April of this year.
Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd. closed last month on the purchase of most of Pampa Energias downstream assets in Argentina. The transaction includes a lubricants manufacturing plant in Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, Trafigura reported in a press release.
Shell announced yesterday that it agreed to sell its downstream business in Argentina to Raizen, a 50-50 joint venture with Brazilian sugar producer Cosan. The business is reportedly one of the three largest lubricant suppliers in the Argentinian market.