The volume-value question
By Lisa Tocci for Lubes’n’Greases Magazine.
In volume terms —sheer tons of product needed to keep the world well-oiled — lubricants demand has barely budged from what it was back in 2000.
Put a yardstick to the industry’s value however, and you’ll find gross margins to be double and triple what they were 15 years ago. That provocative contrast — flat volume, escalating value — took center stage at a recent industry meeting in London.
At the ICIS World Base Oils & Lubricants Conference, Apu Gosalia, head of global competitive intelligence and chief sustainability officer of Fuchs Petrolub in Mannheim, Germany, got the ball rolling with a look at how the industry fared in 2014. He pointed out that global car production was up 4 percent for the year, chemicals production was up 2.8 percent, steel production gained 1.2 percent, and GDP rose 3.3 percent on a global basis.Read the full article