Last week, Shamrock attended the 6th African Base Oils and Lubricants Conference. Organized by ICIS, this year’s event was held in Accra, Ghana, on 31 October to 2 November.

Shamrock has consistently supported the ICIS Base Oils and Lubricants events, as they provide an excellent opportunity for us to catch up with existing suppliers and customers, as well as explore new possibilities for cooperation.

As always, this Conference was a great way to reaffirm our thoughts on the latest trends in the industry.

Africa is a region ripe for growth. However, there exist many challenges on the Continent that businesses have been struggling with (for an in-depth analysis, have a read of the Lubezine article we wrote). Mainly, these are: infrastructure issues (underdeveloped ports, lack of storage, problems with inland transportation); logistical constraints (congested ports, leading to huge demurrage costs for bulk cargoes); and financial problems (lengthy processes for Letters of Credit, no access to foreign currency and a lack of credit lines).

Shamrock is here to help. As experts in trade finance, we provide financing solutions at any part of the supply chain and can help customers overcome the continent’s financial issues by offering new and affordable financial instruments. For more information about what we can offer for your business, please contact us directly.

Shamrock is also a pioneer in base oil shipments by flexitank, which is a cost-efficient, safe and flexible technology, and can be used to get around African ports’ logistical challenges. Flexitanks not only optimize the supply chain, but also offer greater market accessibility to blenders. As it is a multimodal type of transport, we can offer inland customers a full door-to-door service for products coming from any refinery in the world. If requested, of course, Shamrock has the expertise and the knowledge to offer any type of base oils by bulk, from quantities of 500 MT to 15,000 MT.

Another topic discussed at length was the changing trends in demand across Africa. Indeed, it was said that Africa is increasingly looking for Group II, but this wasn’t agreed for every region. For example, South Africa is experiencing an increase in demand for Group II base oils due to much higher quality car parks requesting higher quality finished lubricants. North Africa still depends on Europe because they do not require such quality yet, but also mostly because they are eligible for tax exemptions when purchasing European products. Last but not least, West and East Africa are still consuming Group I from Russia/CIS and Iran, respectively, largely due to the price since quality is not the main driver for decisions, even though more and more buyers are becoming stricter and requesting European quality nowadays.

Here again, Shamrock can help as we can offer base oils from anywhere in the world whether it is lower quality Group I (Russia/CIS) or premium quality (Europe/USA/Asia), Group II, or even Group III. We have a deep knowledge and expertise of the base oils market and are always informing customers of what are their options are.

Ultimately, at Shamrock we want to provide our customers with the best possible service each and every time. We will continue to use the insights gained from this Conference to help us do this.