China’s Lubricants Industry Transitions to “New Normal”

After a decade of rapid growth, China, the world’s largest lubricants market and Asia’s growth engine, has started to slow down. “We expect a flat growth trajectory — 6.8% in 2016 versus 6.9% in 2015 — as China digests prior credit excesses and transitions to a new growth model,” says Jeff Ng, ASEAN economist at Standard Chartered Bank.

Chinese lubricating oil demand peaked in 2012, and in recent years has continued to grow but at a slower rate, as the speed of China’s economic growth has gradually declined, according to Nie ShiChun, deputy general manager for Sinopec Lubricant (Singapore) Pte Ltd.

As China’s economic model transitions to a “new normal,” lubricant industry profits will weaken, says Nie. “While well-established enterprises are expanding their market, small- to medium-sized enterprises are struggling to survive,” he says.

Ng and Nie are speaking at F+L Week 2016, which will be held from March 8-11, 2016 at the Regent Hotel, Singapore. F&L Asia Ltd., organizer of F+L Week, has unveiled a stellar speaker line-up for its 2016 edition of Asia’s premier annual event for the fuels and lubes industry.

Every year since 1995, F&L Asia has hosted the global lubricants industry’s movers and shakers in Asia. This year, Shell’s Dan Arcy, who is chairman of the New Category Development Team (NCDT) responsible for defining the performance standard for the next generation of heavy-duty engine oils, will present on API FA-4 and CK-4, which will be licensed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) in December 2016.

Toyota’s Teri Kowalski, chairperson for the automotive segment of the Auto-Oil Advisory Panel (AOAP), will give an update on ILSAC GF-6, which will be licensed by the API in April 2018.

Keith Howard will discuss ACEA 5, the new European passenger car engine oil category, which will be introduced this spring. Before moving to China, Howard represented Lubrizol in the European lubricant additives committee for test development, the group responsible for the additive industry’s input into the development of tests for use in the ACEA European test sequences.

Luberef’s new Group II base oil refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia that’s coming on stream in the second quarter; Croda’s new Group V base stock and Solvay’s new emulsifier for metalworking fluids are just some of the topics to be tackled during F+L Week 2016.

This year’s keynote speaker is Toyota Motor Corp. Executive General Manager Masanori Sugiyama, who will talk on “The Future of Automobiles in 2035: Toward Realization of Sustainable Mobility Society for Customers’ Smiles.”

This landmark annual conference brings together high-level speakers and delegates to Singapore, Asia’s oil refining and trading centre, to unleash thought leadership, shape strategic road maps and provide an exceptional networking opportunity for those belonging to the Asia-Pacific fuels and lubricants industry.

To register for F+L Week 2016, go to