When It Rains, It Pours
The world—and more specifically, the base oils and lubricants industry—can’t seem to get a break. Just when market conditions seemed to be improving, with some segments seeing a moderate demand recovery and prices stabilizing after the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, hurricane and typhoon season began.
In late August, the United States Gulf Coast, where several base oil and lubricant production sites are located, was threatened by not one but two hurricanes: Marco and Laura. And two powerful typhoons hit the South Korean peninsula and were expected to affect base oil production there.
Plant operators prepared for the storms by throttling down operating rates or shutting down. While Marco inflicted less damage than expected, Hurricane Laura pummeled the coast near the Texas-Louisiana border with heavy rain, a hefty storm surge and powerful winds.