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Lubricants are products that are used for reducing friction between moving parts and are widely used in vehicles and industrial equipment. Though these extremely important fluids are needed to maintain vehicles and equipment in good working condition, they also add a substantial cost to consumers’ overall vehicle or equipment maintenance cost. Therefore, globally, there is a desire among lubricants users to reduce its consumption by prolonging its use but without compromising equipment performance. This forms the crux of the developments that are currently taking place in the global lubricants market. The shift toward longer-lasting synthetic lubricants and designing of equipment with smaller sumps are a result of the trend of optimizing cost. This, along with expanding alternate fuel vehicles that do not require lubricants and emission and fuel economy norms, will shape the future market of finished lubricants. This article, based on the findings of our research studies, Global Lubricants: Market Analysis and Assessment and Global Synthetic Lubricants: Market Analysis and Opportunities, discusses the developments that shape the global finished lubricants industry.

Global Lubricants Markets to Grow Despite Slowdown in Major Markets Global demand for finished lubricants is estimated at 40 million tonnes in 2018 with Asia-Pacific in the leading position. North America is the second-largest lubricants-consuming region with about one-fourth of global demand. In Asia-Pacific, demand is led by China, followed by India; in North America, demand is led by the United States, which is the largest lubricants-consuming country globally. These three countries, along with Russia and Japan, account for more than half of the global finished lubricants demand. The United States and China, because of their sheer size, have the biggest impact on volumetric global lubricant demand, product trends, viscosity grade evolution, synthetics penetration, channel shifts, and supplier positioning. The year 2017 saw changes in the global ranking of countries. For example, Mexico surpassed Canada and joined the list of top 10 lubricant countries. Similarly, Turkey surpassed France and joined the list of top 15. Passenger car motor oil (PCMO) and motorcycle oils (MCOs) are the most consumed lubricant types with a combined share of about one-fifth of the global demand. Heavy-duty motor oil (HDMO) is the second most-consumed lubricant, closely following PCMO and MCO. Therefore, trends in PCMO and HDMO significantly influence developments in the overall lubricants and basestocks industry.

“Global finished lubricants consumption will have a minimal volumetric growth in the future, ranging between 41 and 42 million tonnes by 2022.”

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Kline Perspectives 2019