France Lubricant Demand Down in March


France Lubricant Demand Down in March

France’s finished lubricant consumption fell 13% to 45,297 metric tons in March, pushing demand for the first quarter to a 5% decline, according to data released by the Paris-based Professional Lubricants Center.

Automotive lubricants demand dropped 13% to 25,267 tons in March, and first quarter consumption decreased 4% to 72,778 tons.

Passenger car engine oil demand declined 9% to 14,852 tons in March, while sales of engine oils for commercial diesel vehicles dropped 19% to 1,081 tons. Automatic transmission fluid sales climbed 12% to 1,067 tons.

Demand for automotive grease fell 26% to 350 tons.

Industrial lubricants demand – not including process oils – declined 14% to 15,023 tons. Hydraulic transmission oil demand declined 12% to 6,397 tons. Within the category, non-flammable hydraulic transmission oils showed growth, up 27% to 415 tons. High-viscosity-index hydraulic transmission oil consumption decreased 11% to 4,516 tons, and standard-viscosity index hydraulic transmission oil demand fell 23% to 1,466 tons. Industrial greases demand rose 4% to 1,428 tons.

Non-soluble metalworking fluid consumption dropped 17% to 1,256 tons, while demand for soluble metalworking fluids decreased 5% to 1,216 tons. Turbine oil consumption dropped 33% to 236 tons.

Compressor oils demand declined by 11% to 194 tons. Oil for refrigeration compressors showed an uptick, by 9% to 50 tons for the March and by 4% to 166 tons for the quarter, while consumption of other types of refrigeration oils was down 16% to 144 tons.

Process oil demand was down 8% at 5,007 tons in March and showed 2% growth to 14,753 tons in the first quarter.

Some economists have warned that France and other major European economies could be headed for recession, but mixed indicators came from a Bank of France survey of 8,500 French companies contacted between March 29 and April 4. Respondents reported a marked increase in production of automobiles, aeronautics and machinery and equipment, compared to February but a sharp decline in chemicals, agri-food and wood-paper-printing.

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