Lubricant demand in France was up year over year in November 2021 for the first time since August and only the second time since May, lifted by substantial increases in demand for passenger car engine oil and industrial lubricants.
Finished lube sales in France rose 5% to 45,453 metric tons in November, compared with 43,288 tons in November 2020, the Professional Lubricants Center reported in data released yesterday. The highest total in 2021 was reached in March with 51,249 tons; the lowest was 37,766 tons in August.
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In November, the automotive segment’s lubricant sales volume increased 6% to 23,565 tons, rising from 22,275 tons in the same month last year. Despite the increase, the monthly total was in roughly the middle of the pack this year, between the highest total of 28,216 tons in March and the low point of 20,541 tons in August.
Demand for passenger car engine oil demand increased 11% to 13,079 tons in November, while sales of engine oils used in commercial diesel vehicles rose 6% to 4,731 tons. Among automotive lubricants, automatic transmission oils were up 3% at 828 tons.
Sales in France’s industrial segment – not including process oils – grew 10% to 17,250 tons, improving from 15,650 tons. The November total was the second highest for a month in 2021, just behind 17,753 tons in July.
Within the industrial segment, hydraulic transmission oils consumption rose 7% to 6,273 tons, soluble metalworking fluids increased 9% to 1,751 tons and turbine oils jumped 35% to 342 tons.
Process oils sales volumes were down 14% at 4,638 tons. It was the second-lowest monthly total this year, ahead of only August’s volume of 4,160 tons.
France is the second-largest lubricant market in Western and Central Europe, following Germany.