Additive Sales Off but Rebounding

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Lubricant additive demand in the United States declined 9.5% through the first seven months of the year, according to data released recently by the American Chemistry Council, but showed signs of rebounding over the summer.

In July lube additive sales volumes rose 4.7% compared to June, the Washington D.C.-based trade organization said in an Aug. 20 news release. June volumes were 15.5% higher than in May.

July volumes were still 9% lower than in the same month of 2019.

Lubricant additives is one of 28 segments of specialty chemicals that the council monitors. Overall specialty chemical sales ran 7.6% lower during the first seven months of 2020 compared to the same period of last year. Running monthly totals improved 4.6% in June and another 1.9% in July.

Only seven of the 28 segments declined by a greater percentage than lube additives during the first seven months, led by rubber processing chemicals and antioxidants. But only three segments had larger proportional rebounds in June and July, with rubber processing chemicals and catalysts improving the most.

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