Just like other segments of the lubricants industry, the lubricant additives market has experienced significant—and sometimes jarring—changes during the past several years.
For instance, in late July last year, severe flooding in the Midwest region of the United States forced Afton Chemical Corp., one of the Big Four additive suppliers, to temporarily close its production facility in Sauget, Illinois. As a result of the flooding, the company declared force majeure, resulting in a shortage of materials to be used in such products as engine oil additive packages as well as some off-road products. The company lifted the force majeure just over a month later, but the interruption to production had lingering effects.
The global additives market was no stranger to supply issues before then, either. In September 2019, a fire broke out at Lubrizol’s additives plant in Rouen, France. (Lubrizol is another one of the Big Four additives suppliers. In fact, according to an April 6 webinar hosted by global consultancy Kline & Co., it is the largest supplier in the world.) The blaze caused extensive damage to the company’s facilities and took large volumes of additives out of the supply system for some time.