Lubricant demand in France showed a moderate year-over-year increase in August, but several lubricant segments posted their lowest monthly sales of this year. The August improvement followed year-to-year declines in July and June.
Finished lube sales in France increased 5% to 37,836 metric tons in August, compared with 36,049 tons in August 2020, the Professional Lubricants Center reported in data released yesterday. Despite the increase, the August total was the lowest demand for a month this year, just below 40,865 tons in May. The highest demand for a month was 51,297 tons in March.
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In August, the automotive segment’s lubricant sales volume slipped 1 percent to 20,541 tons, down from 20,761 tons in the same month last year. For this year, the August total was also the lowest monthly total this year, behind 22,620 tons in May. The highest demand was 28,216 tons in March.
Passenger car engine oil demand declined 4% to 12,047 tons in August, while sales of engine oils used in commercial diesel vehicles rose 4% to 3,821 tons. Among automotive lubricants, automatic transmission oils increased 2% to 658 tons.
Sales in France’s industrial segment – not including process oils – jumped 18% to 13,112 tons in August, improving from 11,098 tons. The August total this year was the lowest for a month, just behind 13,247 tons in May. The highest demand of 17,799 tons was reached in July.
Within the industrial segment, hydraulic transmission oils consumption grew 14% to 4,836 tons. Falling were compressor oil demand, down 15% at 124 tons, and turbine oils, falling 13% to 210 tons.
Process oils sales volumes were down slightly at 4,183 tons, from 4,190 tons. It was the lowest monthly total this year, trailing 4,998 tons in May. The highest consumption of 6,191 tons occurred in March.
France is the second-largest lubricant market in Western and Central Europe, following Germany.