Worldwide lubricating grease production declined slightly, by 1%, last year to 2.48 billion pounds, compared to 2014, according to the latest annual grease production survey released by the National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI). The decline equates to 24 million pounds lower than the 2.51 billion pounds reported in the 2014 survey.
China reported a significant decline of 4.9%, despite the addition of six new participants, consistent with the slowdown in the Chinese economy last year. Likewise, North America posted a modest decline of 1.7%. On a comparative basis, the decline in North America is actually higher, by 3.4%.
However, Europe, Japan, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East reported higher production volumes in 2015.
Other regional changes were largely due to changes in the number of participants, according to Chuck Coe, president of Grease Technology Solutions, LLC, who conducted the survey on behalf of NLGI.
Coe said that the survey included reports from 239 unique company/region combinations, most of which have participated consistently in the past. Thirteen new companies participated in the 2015 survey, but not in the 2014 survey.