The economies of countries in Central and Eastern Europe have been relatively buoyant in recent years, making their small and fragmented lube markets worthwhile to outsiders, an official with Hungarian lube maker Mol-Lub Ltd. said at a recent conference in Antwerp.
The Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania collectively demanded 346,000 metric tons of lubricants in 2016, Akos Nemesnyik, Mol-Lubs product development and application manager, told the ACI European Base Oils and Lubricants conference on Nov. 29. Even together, these countries are not big players on European level, Nemesnyik noted, explaining that the group collectively comes in as the fifth-largest lube market in Europe behind Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy. But when it comes to gross domestic product, the four countries have grown at rates of 3 to 4 percent in recent years, which is higher than the European Union average. The countries all rely on foreign investments and have similar economic structures, he added.