Lubricants can be mainly divided into two types - synthetic and bio-based lubricants. Synthetic lubricants primarily include chemical-based and mineral-based lubes. Chemical-based lubes are commonly processed from polyolefin, polyesters, polyglycols, non-PAO synthetics, esters, alkylated naphthalene and alkylated benzene. Mineral oils are basically by-products or variants of downstream petroleum processing. Mineral oil contains uneven and less uniform molecules and particulates, as compared to synthetic oil.
Bio-based lubricants are primarily triglyceride esters which are derived from animal and plant oils and are formulated using renewable and biodegradable base stocks. They can be formulated using a range of natural sources such as low grade and solid fats or waste materials, but are generally based on vegetable oils (palm oil, castor oil, sunflower oil, and castor oil). A typical bio-based lubricant is readily biodegradable (decomposed within one year; through natural biological processes in water, carbon dioxide and carbonaceous land or under standard industrial composting environment) and is non toxic when disposed in the environment.
Synthetic lubricant products analyzed in this study include industrial (process oils, general industrial oils, metal working fluids, industrial engine oils), commercial automotive (heavy-duty engine oil, hydraulic and transmission fluid, gear oil, grease) and consumer automotive (passenger vehicle engine & motor oil, automatic transmission fluid, gear oil, grease). The bio-based lubricant market has been segmented on the basis of applications including automotive, hydraulic, process, demolding, chainsaw, compressor, turbine, and industrial gear, metal working oils and lubricating greases. Regional market data and forecast have been provided for North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (ROW).
Asia-Pacific is the largest and fastest-growing market for synthetic lubricants owing to increasing domestic consumption from the industrial as well as the automotive sector. Synthetic lubricants are widely used in automotive industry for their benefits, ease of procurement and relative lower cost as compared to bio based lubricants. Bio-based lubricants provide a safer and cleaner environment with respect to resource renewability, biodegradability, and offer satisfactory performance in a wide range of applications. Owing to the benefits associated with bio-based lubricants, they are increasingly being preferred over synthetic lubricants. Pricing is the major challenge when it comes to synthetic and bio-based lubricants. Prices of synthetic and bio-based oils are volatile in nature and keep fluctuating in-line with the raw materials. Shipping disputes and supply uncertainties contribute significantly to these price fluctuations. In recent years, owing to growing demand from alternative applications such as bio fuels, renewable chemicals, animal feed and human consumption, vegetable oils have experienced volatility in prices.
Some of the major players that deal in synthetic and bio-based lubricants include Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Chevron, Castrol, Fuchs and Total and so on.
This study estimates and forecasts the demand for synthetic (mineral oils and chemical oils) and bio-based lubricants in the global market. Synthetic lubricants market has been segmented on the basis of various products including industrial, consumer automotive and commercial automotive lubricants. This segmentation has also been analyzed on a regional level, providing data for North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Bio-based lubricants market has been segmented on the basis of applications such as hydraulic oil, chainsaw oil, turbine oil, metal working oil and so on. Biolubricant demand has also been segmented on the basis of end-use industries such as commercial and consumer automotives. The study analyzes the entire lubricant industry from the demand perspective and market data for all segmentations is provided both in terms of volumes and revenues with forecast for the period from 2013 to 2018.
Various synthetic lubricant products analyzed in this study include process oils, general industrial oils, hydraulic & transmission fluid, passenger vehicle engine & motor oil, metal working fluids, heavy-duty engine oil, gear oil and grease. Bio-based lubricants have also been analyzed from raw material perspective, with estimates for vegetable oil-based and animal oil based lubes. The bio-based lubricant market by applications can be mainly divided into automotive, hydraulic, process, demolding, chainsaw, compressor, turbine, industrial gear, metal working oils and lubricating greases. The economies covered in this report are North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (ROW).
This report also includes Porters five forces model and the market share of major companies in 2011. A market attractiveness profile has also been provided for bio-based lubricants which would assist in product development and specifications. Some of the key players that deal in synthetic and bio-based lubricants include Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Chevron, Castrol, Fuchs and Total. The top 20 market participants have been profiled in this study, including data such as recent developments, financial performance, and product lines and so on.
This study provides a holistic analysis of the entire lubricant industry, from the raw material perspective to the end-user applications. The study also analyzes the competitive landscape in the industry, providing company market share analysis for both synthetic and bio-based lubricants along with detailed profiles of top companies. The synthetic and bio-based lubricants market has been comprehensively segmented as below:
- Global Synthetic Lubricants market, by product type
- Process Oils
- General Industrial Oils
- Metal Working Fluids
- Industrial Engine Oils
- Commercial Automotive
- Heavy-Duty Engine Oil
- Hydraulic and Transmission Fluid
- Gear Oil
- Consumer Automotive
- Passenger Vehicle Engine & Motor Oil
- Automatic Transmission Fluid
- Gear Oil
- Global Bio-based Lubricants market, by product type
- Vegetable Oils
- Animal Oils
- Global Bio-Based Lubricants market, by application
- Automotive Oils
- Hydraulic Oils
- Process Oils
- Demolding Oils
- Lubricating Grease
- Chainsaw Oils
- Compressor Oils
- Turbine Oils
- Industrial Gear Oils
- Metal Working Oils
- Global Bio-Based Lubricants market, by end-user
- Industrial Lubricants
- Commercial Transportation Lubricants
- Consumer Automotive Lubricants
- Global Synthetic & Bio-Based Lubricants market, by geography
- North America
- Rest of the World (RoW)
Simply defined, a lubricant is a substance which reduced friction between two moving surfaces. This property is defined as lubricity. Critical properties that every lubricant must possess include high boiling point, low freezing point, high viscosity index, thermal stability, corrosion prevention, and high resistance to oxidation.
The global market for lubricants was estimated at over 45 million tons in 2010, generating revenues of over USD 45 million. The total lubricant market volumes are expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.2% to 2.5% for the next 10 years.
In terms of consumption as well as production, Asia pacific has emerged as a clear leader in the market, accounting for 37% of the global consumption in 2010 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 3.5% in the next decade. North America is the second-largest market for lubricants, accounting for over 28% of total consumption; however, this market is stagnant and is expected to grow at a meager CAGR of 1.3% in the next five years.
Increasing environmental concerns and rising consumer awareness, especially in the Western European markets has been the primary driving force behind the demand for bio-based lubricants. These products are mainly derived from vegetable oils. In addition, regulatory agencies such as USDA have been promoting these products with tax benefits and preferred purchasing. Under the BioPreferred program, USDA has registered over 200 lubricant and fluid related products. Cost and quality are key issues for bio-based lubricants as these products cost around 30% to 35% more than their mineral-oil counterparts.
Western Europe is the largest consumer of bio-based lubricants with an annual consumption of over 130,000 tons in 2010. Bio-based lubricants accounted for 3% to 4% of the total European lubricant demand while the same figure for the global scenario is close to 1.5%
In terms of competition, the global market is moderately concentrated. Leading market participants include Exxon Mobil, Shell, British Petroleum, Chevron and Total. Together, these companies accounted for over 40% of the overall lubricant market. Almost all these companies have also been taking giant strides in the development and commercialization of lubricants derived from vegetable oils.
Source: United Soybean Board, University of Northern Iowa, MTN Consultants, Primary Interviews
Source: United Soybean Board, University of Northern Iowa, MTN Consultants, Primary