France’s Lube Demand Declines

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France’s Lube Demand Declines

France’s finished lubricant consumption declined to 42,319 metric tons in February, a 7% decline from the same month last year, according to data released April 15 by the Paris-based Professional Lubricants Center.

The 23,300 tons of automotive lubes consumed in February represented a 3% decrease.

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Passenger car engine oil demand slipped 7%, to 12,141 tons, in February, while sales of engine oils used in commercial diesel vehicles increased 6%, to 4,758 tons. Among automotive lubricants, automatic transmission oil sales decreased 3%, to 828 tons. Demand for automotive greases fell 24%, to 359 tons.

Industrial lubricants demand – not including process oils – fell 5%, to 13,932 tons.

Hydraulic transmission oil consumption declined 5%, to 5,501 tons; non-soluble metalworking fluids demand fell 20%, to 1,203 tons; soluble metalworking fluids dropped 36%, to 921 tons; and compressor oils fell 28%, to 176 tons. On the plus side, industrial greases demand was up 11%, at 1,312 tons, and turbine oils consumption rose 6%, to 173 tons.

Process oil consumption fell by 24%, to 5,087 tons.

According to the Bank of France’s macroeconomic projections for March, the geopolitical shock of the war in Ukraine is weighing on a recovery dynamic in France “that was looking strong, despite the obstacles linked to the pandemic or supply constraint. Indeed, these obstacles were probably beginning to dissipate gradually, as shown by the improvement in public health indicators these past weeks and the slight easing of supply bottlenecks reported by businesses.”

Under the bank’s outlook for growth scenarios, the consequences of the Ukraine conflict on France activity should start to be felt in the second quarter of this year. “All components of demand are expected to be affected to varying degrees: household consumption should slow due to the impact of energy prices on purchasing power; the increased uncertainty over the future should hamper investment; and the negative impact on global trade should also hurt French exports,” the bank said.

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