Grease Prices Are on the Rise
March 22, 2023
Written By Adam Buckallew
You may want to consider stocking up on grease if you haven’t already. A report from JobbersWorld details plans from multiple manufacturers to raise their grease prices.
In February, Lubrication Engineers increased the price of its lithium complex greases approximately 27%. Chevron shared its plans to raise the price of its greases by 17%, effective Feb. 13. MFA Oil has yet to adjust its grease prices, however, the company plans to do so in April.
One factor pushing grease prices higher is increasing demand for lithium, which acts as a thickening agent in many greases. According to JobbersWorld, lithium complex grease accounts for close to 40% of the total grease demand in the US market while conventional lithium grease make up roughly 20% of demand.
Global demand for lithium batteries is set to grow more than five-fold by 2030, driven primarily by rising adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storages systems. Li-Bridge, a public-private partnership, published a report in February that estimates the demand for lithium batteries in the U.S. will be even higher at nearly 6 times current levels.
Although lithium prices have experienced a significant decline in recent months, they remain well above pre-pandemic levels. Lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide valuations skyrocketed in 2021 due to bullish demand and supply chain disruptions.
Matty Zhao, an Asia Pacific basic materials analyst at Bank of America Securities, told CNBC on March 19 that last year’s lithium shortfall, which sent prices soaring, could pivot into a surplus in 2023, with “a lot of supply coming out” from mines.
While demand for EVs has softened in recent months, many analysts say the slowdown will be short-lived and demand for EVs, and therefore Li-ion batteries will be back on a robust growth curve in the near to long term. Assuming these predictions come to fruition, JobbersWorld says grease manufacturers will likely see competition for lithium supply intensify, and further prices increase as demand for lithium going to EVs and other electronic devices grows.
MFA Oil carries two calcium sulfonate-based greases, Total Use and HD Moly 5%. These greases are expected to remain price stable and represent a growing segment of the grease industry.
MFA Oil lubricants are on sale through March 31. You can save 15% off all products and sizes. Take advantage of this opportunity to stock up and save on grease and all your other lubricant needs.