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U.S. Government Engages Associations on Castor Oil Derivatives

U.S. Government Engages Associations on Castor Oil Derivatives

ILMA, NLGI and STLE have written to U.S. and Indian government officials, seeking assistance in addressing a supply disruption of Castor oil derivatives needed for manufacturing greases, resulting from India’s nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 there.

Letters signed by the three associations’ executives were sent to the Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Taranjit Singh Sandhu, as well as to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Kudlow, urging them to work with the Indian government to identify the Castor industry as essential to sustaining the public health and safety of communities, economies and governments worldwide. The associations would like approval for the priority shipping of Castor oil derivatives awaiting export at Indian ports. 

Approximately 90 percent of the 450 million pounds of grease manufactured in the U.S. last year depends upon Castor oil derivatives as a key ingredient (grease thickener). Annual U.S. consumption of Castor oil derivatives for grease production is around 40 million pounds, with grease production representing 23 percent of overall U.S. Castor use. India produces 80 percent of Castor seeds and over 95 percent of the derivatives used by grease manufacturers in the U.S.

Greases are essential in sustaining infrastructure in the medical, agricultural, industrial, transportation and military sectors, among others deemed critical during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

ILMA will be keeping members informed of developments as they occur.