South Korean base oil exports fell 13 percent to 1.4 million tons in the first quarter this year, down from 1.6 million tons in 2019’s first quarter, according to data released by the Korea Customs Service. The value of base oil exported in this year’s first quarter was U.S. $945.7 million.
GS Caltex reported increased operating profit for its base oil and lubricant business, and KH Neochem Co. poster lower operating profit for its performance materials segment, which includes raw materials for refrigeration lubricants, for the first quarter. Meanwhile, 2019 financial year profit was up for lubricant company Yushiro Chemical Industry.
Among South Korea’s large base oil refiners, S-Oil and Hyundai Shell Base Oil both posted large increases in operating profit for the first quarter, while profits were down in the quarter for SK Lubricants.
South Korea lubricant consumption fell to a 10-year low of 990,455 kiloliters (889,627 metric tons) in 2019, the Korea Lubricating Oil Industries Association said in a report last week.
South Koreas major base oil refiners - SK Lubricants, S-Oil, GS Caltex, and Hyundai Shell Base Oil - each reported steep declines in operating profit for 2019. In India, Castrol India Ltd. reported increased profits for 2019, while profits for the year were down for Balmer Lawrie & Co.s greases and lubricants segment, Savita Oil and MJL Bangladesh Ltd.
Nicca Chemical plans to re-enter the lubricant market with the completion of its new fluorine plant in South Korea, increasing its production capacity by 30 percent, the company told Lube Report.
S-Oil reported increased operating income for its base oil business, while SK Lubricants and Hyundai Shell Base Oil Co. each posted lower profit for the quarter ending Sept. 30. Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc. and Lanka IOC each reported an increase in profit.
A consultant told an industry conference in Mumbai, India, Wednesday 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.
South Korean base oil refiners SK Lubricants, S-Oil and Hyundai Shell Base Oil Co. each reported a steep decline in operating profit for the quarter ending March 31, mostly due to narrowed margins. Castrol India Ltd. reported an increase in first-quarter net profit and Pakistans Hi-Tech Lubricants Ltd. posted a steep decrease in net profit.
South Koreas four major base oil refiners - SK Lubricants, S-Oil, GS Caltex and Hyundai Shell Base Oil - each reported a deep cut in operating profit for 2018, despite higher sales revenue for the year.