Earlier this month, Shamrock attended the ICIS 14th Middle Eastern Base Oils and Lubricants Conference, held in Dubai.
Shamrock has consistently supported these events. We use them to not only meet with existing suppliers, customers and partner, but also explore new opportunities for supply, logistics and financing. The event also provides a good chance to visit several of our customers based in the UAE to strengthen the relationship and ensure we are serving them in the best way possible.
Moreover, the ICIS Base Oils and Lubricants Conferences are always a great way to keep on top of the latest trends in the industry. This year was particularly interesting.
One of the main discussions was that blenders are increasingly switching from Group I Group II base oils, which could be down to formulations changes, but also to the price.
Shamrock is closely following this trend and is helping customers to make the transition, always sourcing from the most reliable refineries in the world. We are also able to assist in price assessment to help customers take an informed decision.
Also, it was mentioned that the Asian market was already tight due to many refineries being on maintenance. Main industry players expected this to improve in the second half of the year once all refineries came back in service. However, the hurricanes in the USA meant that their availability dried up and markets like Latin America and the North Americas had to turn to Asia to cover their requirements, which dried up even more Asian availability leaving not much product for markets like the UAE or India.
Once again, Shamrock can help buyers overcome this situation by offering alternatives from Europe or Russia, offering premium Group I and Group II base oils. Further, our relationships with major refineries in Asia and the USA mean that, even if blenders cannot source from these markets themselves, we are still able to do so for them.
It was also discussed that the UAE market which has specific quality requirements does not allow the local refining capacities to sell all their production domestically. Shamrock can here not only assist refineries in finding outlets for their products (via flexitank and bulk shipments), but we can also assist local customers in sourcing the products they need that is not available locally from any refinery worldwide.
As always, there were a number of interesting presentations such as the logistics, trade and shipping challenges in the Middle East, and the impact of the electric revolution on the lubricant industry. Delegates also heard some ideas on establishing a presence in Iran and the growing importance of European OEM approved oils in the Middle East and Africa. Finally, presenters studied the Middle East’s demand growth and Group III capacity and demand.
We will continue to think about and use the insights gained from the Conference to improve our service to our customers.
You can meet with us next at the ICIS 6th African Base Oils and Lubricants Conference in Accra, Ghana on 31 October until 2 November.