Greek lubricant market
The automobile market, but also the industry of lubricants over the last 8 years is shrinking. The same trend is followed by the market of marine lubricants. The total domestic automotive lubricants’ market has a declining trend in recent years; the consumption is estimated at 33.5-34 million litres in 2014 (a decrease of about 4.1% annually), while for 2015 there is a further reduction in consumption of about 4.0- 4.2%. Under sectorial studies the downward trend in consumption is expected to continue in the period 2016-2018, but at a lower annual rate of decline (Table 1).
The longitudinal shrinkage of the domestic lubricant consumption is due to various factors. The new technology engines do not require frequent lubricant changes compared to those of older technology. Also, due to the evolution of the synthesis, the lubricants are now of higher performance resulting in the older technology wheeled vehicles making changes less frequently (more kilometres) than in the past. Nowadays the consumption of synthetic lubricants covers 35% of the total quantity of engine lubricants, with a continuous upward trend. Moreover, due to the economic recession in the country in recent years, the use of vehicles has been limited while there is “lengthening” in the lubricant change intervals.
The domestic consumption of industrial lubricants is estimated at about 15.5 million litres in 2014, decreased by 6% compared to 2013. The main cause of the fall is the reduced industrial production due to the recession. A further reduction of about 10% was observed in 2015, while stabilization is expected for 2016 (Table 2).
The overall market for marine lubricants was about 27.000 tons in 2014, noting a decrease of approximately 6.3% compared to 2013, while the market will move at the same levels in 2015-16 (Table 3).
The demand on automotive lubricants is influenced by both the evolution and composition of the vehicles’ fleet as well as by the technological advance both at engines and lubricants’ level.
Based on the data of the National Statistical Service of Greece, at the end of 2015 there were 8,048,488 vehicles available:
|VEHICLE TYPE||NUMBER OF VEHICLES IN CIRCULATION|
Distribution of vehicles in circulation
The evolution of marine traffic and industrial production determine, to a significant extent, the demand for marine and industrial lubricants.
The Greek lubricant market for the end of 2014, based on the most recent market data, is distributed as follows:
According to reliable estimates of the market in the last two years (2014-2015) approximately 45% of the total domestic consumption of lubricants was from products intended for passenger cars. Motorcycles are estimated to have covered a rate of 6%. The rest of the vehicles –lorries, buses, agricultural vehicles etc. –are estimated to have absorbed about the remaining 49% of the total domestic lubricant consumption (Chart 1).
The same structure in consumption is foreseen for 2016 as well.
The national export activity in the lubricant industry was particularly significant in 2015 making it the first sector in national exports. The lubricant exports after the significant decline recorded in 2010-2011 (compared to 2009) showed a remarkable increase in the years 2012-2013, reaching 26.038 tons in 2013 (maximum value of the last five years). In contrast in 2014 a significant reduction of 55.7% in 11.542 tons was introduced (Chart 2).
The main destination of exports for 2014 was the Eastern Mediterranean countries.
LPC with CYCLON lubricants was the first exporting company in 2014 and 2015 with a rate >78% of the national lubricant exports.
Respectively and according to market data, the imports of ready lubricants during 2014 were amounted to around 28,000 tons, increased by 7.5% compared to 2013. The bulk of imported lubricants concern the category of engine oils, compressors and turbines, which includes vehicle lubricants as well. The abovementioned category was increased by 9% in 2014, accounting for almost 80% of total imports for the same year (Chart 3).
The main lubricant importing countries for 2014 were Germany (1st), Italy (2nd), Belgium (3rd), followed by the Netherlands, England and France.