France’s lubricant consumption decreased by 3% in February compared to the same month in 2020, the second consecutive year-to-year decline after five consecutive months of sales exceeding the corresponding month of the previous year.
According to statistics released by the Professional Lubricants Center, finished lube sales in the country fell to 44,790 metric tons in February.
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Sales volumes in the automotive segment decreased 2% to 24,079 tons. Sales in the industrial segment – not including process oils – dropped 8% to 16,604 tons. Process oil volumes grew 10% to 6,107 tons.
Passenger car engine oil demand dropped 7% to 13,016 tons. Sales of engine oils used in commercial vehicles edged down slightly to 4,571 tons. Among automotive lubricants, automatic transmission fluid consumption was up 19% at 857 tons.
In the industrial segment, hydraulic oils were down 6% at 5,829 tons, and industrial greases fell 6.1% to 1,178 tons. On the demand growth side, compressor oils were up 33% at 246 tons,
Lubricant sales in France finished 2020 strong after a challenging period of several months due to the impacts of stringent countermeasures when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Europe. Sales ranged from 9%-15% higher than 2019 for six of the final seven months of 2020, the exception being July, when demand was down 1% year to year. France is the second-largest lubricant market in Western Europe, following Germany.