Trends & Studies
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious damage to lubricants markets around the world, but the bigger problem could be the length of time it takes the industry to emerge from the crisis, according to speakers at a webinar hosted by Lubes’n’Greases.
North American production of lubricating greases seems to have dipped from 2018 to 2019, according to a survey by the United States-based National Lubricating Grease Institute.
The U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Environmental Quality Technical Support Branch is leading a pilot study aimed at saving money and protecting the environment by changing its oil change procedures for engines used to power key systems on Air Force bases.
Sales for oil change and lubrication shops in the United States reached an estimated $6.6 billion in 2019, up 5% from $6.3 billion the previous year, according to a joint report by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.
Close to two-thirds of base oil sold by United States refiners into Mexico is transacted through brokers, according to five industry insiders, and the number is expected to increase as Mexico struggles to cope with Covid-19 and its ailing economy.
Covid-19’s impacts on lubricant markets varied due to the differences in how and when individual countries’ governments responded, while the drop in lubricant demand caused the spot market for base oils to evaporate, industry insiders said during a webinar last week.
New light vehicles sales in the United States are expected to reach near 1.1 million units in May according to a recent forecast by Cox Automotive, down 33 percent from a year earlier but 49 percent higher than the previous month. The firm said those results indicate a step towards recovery from Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hammered Brazil’s finished lubricant industry, a consultant said this week, causing a sharp reduction in demand that could endure for some months.
Economies around the world may be reopening from lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but base oil demand in many places remains sharply depressed and may not recover until late in the year, according to panelists at a webinar last week.
Trends related to electric vehicles accounted for half of the 10 most popular answers in a global survey of tribologists and lubrication engineers about developments likely to draw the industry’s interest in coming years.