Food Grade Lubricants

Market Analysis

According to U. S. export statistics, Mexico imported $20.6 billion of HS2710 Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals and $261 million of HS3403 Lubricating preparations during 2017 (OTEA). These amounts seem unchanged since 2014 and insignificant growth is perceived, roughly 1%. This may derive from an abundance of brands and food grade lubricant brands flooding the country along with those produced by local manufacturers. Food grade lubricant are utilized by the food and beverage industries. Any food grade lubricant sold in Mexico will be NSF certified and USDA compliant ever since the same FDA chapter 21 standards and regulations apply in Mexico. H1 through H3 type lubricants are currently in use at mostly any of the large manufacturers of deli meats, cookies, candies, breads, snacks, etc. The diversity of brands include Exxon Mobil, Crescent, Bardahl, Total, CRC, Jet-Lube, Bio Circle, Molykote, Fuchs, among others. A large number of distributors along the Mexican territory cluster in the main Mexican cities, Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Other distributors with lower activity, but still important, are located in Sonora, Queretaro and Guanajuato.

Market Feedback

Feedback received from companies that were interviewed describe a Mexican market which is very receptive to using synthetic oils and greases. Demand for synthetic lubricants in this market is growing due to new environmental laws. There is an abundant quantity of lubricant distributors along the country who show little interest in foreign brands; it is advisable that food grade lubricant exporters include in their sales strategy for Mexico to appoint a professional sales individual to promote new products in industry as well as to keep an inventory to satisfy client demands rapidly. US exporters may opt to participate as exhibitor to any of the trade fairs listed below, where more users and distributors can be met.

Mexico’s  market for food grade lubricant is open to international manufacturers. Mexico’s largest lubricant manufacturer, PEMEX is the main supplier of base materials for smaller manufacturers. Synthetic products are the demanding trend in Mexico’s industry and therefore, many domestic and international manufactures have established operations there to produce and distribute their synthetic oil lubricants. Distributors were surveyed  in the three major cities of Mexico and found that they are either exclusive to a foreign brand or they purchase directly from domestic manufacturers.

A deteriorating climate for US exports of synthetic lubricants was perceived which is reflected in the reduction of inquiries in combination with competitive pricing from India and even Europe. In addition, NSF food lubricant certification is a must if wanted to export to Mexico.

Trade Events

Energy Mexico, Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City, Mexico.

Expo ANTAD Alimentaria Mexico 2018, Expo Guadalajara, Mexico.

FoodTech Summit & Expo. Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City.

AHR Expo Mexico. CentroCitibanamex, Mexico City.

Source: Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA)


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