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Western Europe

Covid-19 Flattens EU Car Sales

Passenger car registrations in the European Union dropped a record 76 percent in April to 270,682, compared to April last year, reflecting the first full month with Covid-19 pandemic restrictions in place, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

IMO 2020 Causes Shift to Low-Sulfur Fuels

Maritime emissions regulations that took effect at the start of this year led the shipping to shift to low-sulfur fuel oils, in turn causing a transition from base number 70 or BN 100 grades cylinder oils to novel BN 40 products, industry sources told Lube Report.

Khmz Reports Increased 2019 Profit

Russian lithium hydroxide producer Khimiko-Metallurgicheskiy Zavod posted more than a tenfold increase of its operating profit to 167 million rubles (U.S. $2.3 million) for 2019, according to the company’s latest earnings report.

U.S. Lifts Sanctions on Nynas

Nynas AB announced May 12 that Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. sold a 35 percent stake in the company and that the United States lifted sanctions against Nynas as a result of the divestment.

Supply by Spanish Association Dips

The 22 associate members of the Spanish Lubricant Association sold 348,000 metric tons of lubricants in the country in 2019, down 1.3 percent from 2018, according to the group’s statistical commission.

Dutch Biolube Start-up Gets Subsidy

The Groningen province in the Netherlands provided a €50,000 (U.S. $54,000) subsidy to support Stadskanaal-based Airgroup’s efforts to develop and produce lubricants based on vegetable oils.

Spain’s Lube Demand Slightly Down

Spain’s total lubricant consumption decreased 1.5 percent last year to 455,861 metric tons, according to Sigaus, a non-profit entity that manages used lubricants in the country.

Q1 Profits Down for BP, Fuchs

BP’s lubricants business posted a steep drop in profit for the first quarter, which it attributed primarily to Covid-19 pandemic impacts, while independent lubricants blender Fuchs Petrolub SE reported moderate declines in profits and sales, compared to 2019’s first quarter.

Study Assesses Hydraulic Fluid Sustainability

German industrial giants Fuchs Petrolub and BASF carried out a joint study on the cradle-to-grave environmental impact of mineral oil hydraulic fluids, opening the door to further investigation of synthetic hydraulic fluid products.

French Lube Demand Fell in 2019

French lubricant demand dropped 5.2 percent in 2019 as the European Union’s carbon dioxide emission reduction targets put pressure on the automotive sector in France and other large Euro economies, according to a consultant.
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