Last week the Shamrock team attended the ICIS 13th Pan-American Base Oils and Lubricants Conference. Held in Jersey City, the Conference focuses on the Americas, uniting suppliers and clients within this region.
This is an important event for Shamrock, and one that we have consistently supported over the years. With active operations in Latin America and North America, it is a great opportunity to meet with existing customers and suppliers, as well as explore new ventures for supply, logistics and financing.
This year’s event was particularly interesting and useful to complete our picture of the global base oils and lubricants supply and demand outlook for 2017 and beyond.
One of the key topics covered was the supply and demand dynamics based on the current situation with refineries. This especially considering the hurricanes that damaged product availability along with a series of maintenance works that affected key producers and supply in the region. A lot of buyers had to deviate from their standard sourcing practices, looking to source alternative options from European, Asian, UAE and Russian supplies.
Shamrock is well-placed to help buyers in this situation. Being a global base oils distributor, we are able to assist blenders in their sourcing requirements and offer them the best alternatives by flexitank, or by bulk, and serve them in the best and most efficient manner. As a service orientated company, this is what truly drives us is our everyday business.
There was also a lot of discussion around Group III base oils. The US is considered as a net importer of Group III, lacking local Group III production, even though a few announcements were made this year by some Group II local refineries intending to switch some of their Group II production to Group III. Indeed, there was an official announcement made during the Conference by a major local refinery that they will start producing and marketing Group III as from 1st December this year. This may surely have an impact on the import of Group III mainly coming from the Middle East and Asia, and thus a possible decrease of imported volume during 2018.
With intensifying competition in key markets such as North America, refineries will need to look at other markets and diversify their supply chain methods. Shamrock is here to assist and make the transition smoother.
Other notable topics discussed were a regional focus on Brazil and the development of technology that will impact the lubricant industry, such as the introduction of more electrical vehicles.
At Shamrock, we will continue to monitor the development of the base oils & lubricant markets and stay up-to-date with current and forecasted market trends providing our partners with detailed market analysis whenever required.