Lubricant consumption in France jumped 61% in April, compared to the same month in 2020, likely reflecting a rebound from the first full month of COVID-19 restrictions last year. It marked the second consecutive month of year-to-year improvement after lower totals in January and February.
According to statistics released by the Professional Lubricants Center, finished lube sales in the country increased to 47,443 metric tons in April. That was up from 29,419 tons in April last year, which was the lowest monthly consumption total for France during 2020. In March, consumption grew 23% to 51,291 tons, improving from 41,669 tons in the same month in 2020.
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Sales volumes in the automotive segment skyrocketed 82% to 26,488 tons. Sales in the industrial segment – not including process oils – increased 40% to 15,464 tons. Process oil sales volumes grew 46% to 5,491 tons.
Passenger car engine oil demand jumped 152% to 14,149 tons. Sales of engine oils used in commercial diesel vehicles increased 38% to 5,174 tons. Among automotive lubricants, automatic transmission fluid was up 151% at 929 tons.
In the industrial segment, hydraulic transmission oils were up 54% at 6,107 tons, and industrial greases were up 22% at 1,255 tons. Compressor oils declined 5% to 224 tons.
Lubricant sales in France finished 2020 strong after a challenging period of several months due to the impact of stringent pandemic containment measures. Sales ranged from 9%-15% higher than 2019 for six of the final seven months of 2020, the exception being July, when demand was down 1% year to year.
France is the second-largest lubricant market in Western and Central Europe, following Germany.