France’s lubricant demand dropped more than 10% in September, compared to the same month in 2020, but was up sequentially from August. Sales for the third quarter and year-to-date sales through September were both down slightly, compared to the same periods last year.
Finished lubricant sales in the country totaled 43,802 metric tons in September, a 13% decline from 50,375 tons in the same month last year, the Professional Lubricants Center reported on Nov. 16. Sequentially, sales improved 16% from 37,788 tons in August. Sales for this year’s third quarter totaled 130,806 tons, a 6% decline from 138,523 tons in 2020’s third quarter. Year-to-date lube sales through September decreased 5% to 405,697 tons.
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Sales of automotive lubricants fell 10% to 24,152 tons in September but increased sequentially by 18% from 20,541 tons in August. The segment’s third-quarter sales totaled 70,665 tons, a 6% fall from 74,926 tons. Year-to-date sales through September declined 8% to 221,521 tons.
Passenger car engine oil demand decreased 10% to 13,575 tons in September, falling from 15,159 tons. Among automotive lubricants, sales of automatic transmission oils decreased 4% to 905 tons.
Sales in France’s industrial segment – not including process oils – dropped 18% to 14,988 tons in September but sequentially jumped by 64% from 11,098 tons in August. Third-quarter industrial lube sales fell 5% to 45,806 tons.
Within the industrial segment, consumption of hydraulic transmission oils declined 11% to 5,889 tons.
Process oils sales volume was down 15% year to year at 4,662 tons but rose 30% sequentially from 4,190 tons in August. Sales in the third quarter dropped 7% to 14,335 tons. Year-to-date process oil sales were up 6% at 47,715 tons. France is the second-largest lubricant market in Western and Central Europe, following Germany.