Spain’s Market Shrank in First Half

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Lubricant demand in Spain fell 21% during the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019, according to the Spain Lubricants Association, which cited impacts of COVID-19 as well as a market decline that pre-dated the pandemic.

Sigaus, a non-profit organization that manages disposal of used lubricants in the country, recently reported that the market began shrinking last fall and that the decline accelerated from February through April.

Aselube’s report showed monthly sales estimates through June of this year. In the first half of the year, sales volumes totaled 141,000 metric tons, down from 178,000 tons year to year, the report said. The decline fell nearly equally on the automotive and industrial segments, as sales in both fell 22%.

Spain is among the European Countries hit hardest by the coronavirus, but its lubricants market was already flagging before the national government imposed lockdown measures. In January and February, lube sales were 11.6% and 13.3% lower than the respective months for 2019, according to information gathered from association members, which account for 83% of the market.

Once lockdown measures were imposed, lube demand was off by 15.6% in March, 48.6% in April and 38.6% in May. The situation improved significantly in June, when sales were only 11.3% lower than the same month a year earlier.

The impact varied between product categories, the Madrid-based association said. Demand for automotive engine oils fell 24.1% during the first half, compared to 20.8% for transmission fluids and gear oils and 13.7% for metalworking fluids.

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