China to ban sales of sub-National V grade lubes in 2017

Lubes marketers stockpiling National IV grade lubes should be prepared.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, has released a comprehensive set of guidelines for the refined oil products market that will prohibit the sale of finished products failing to meet the National V grade standard.

The new guidelines, which come into effect on the 1st January 2017, are being implemented to curb rising pollution as well as promote the adoption of more advanced automotive technologies at China's smaller producers.

11 provinces nationwide are currently already adhering to National V regulations and are mainly based on the country's east coast. Northern and Westerly provinces will have to be prepared for the change.

Nonetheless, much of China's fleet still runs on oils that fail to meet even National IV standards, and are likely to be serviced by the black market for the foreseeable future.