This year is clearly one for the record books in terms of lubricant price increases. With roughly three and a half months left to go, there have already been six industry wide price increases implemented and, although primarily impacting synthetic and synthetic blend lubricants, many have now announced a seventh price increase.
So, how is the market reacting?
According to a number of lubricant marketers JobbersWorld speaks with, although there is always pushback when price increases rollout, constrained supply of finished lubricants is currently the primary concern. We are in a period of an unparalleled shortage in finished lubricant and the availability of some types and grades of PCMO and HDEO are on close to 100% allocation. In other words, some products are simply not available.
Illustrative of just how tight supply has been, due to shortages and outages, one OEM advised its new car dealers in July that per the owner’s manual, a one-time use of 0W-20 could be used in place of 0W-16 for one oil change interval. Further, they provided dealers with guidance in the event they are at risk of running out of oil.
This is an industry wide issue. In addition to new car dealers, other installers and fleets are feeling the pinch.