The global lubricants market is consolidated and led by a few key players. The top ten lubricant manufacturers in 2013 collectively represented a share of 65.78% in the global lubricants market. Leading companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corporation, Total S.A., ExxonMobil Corporation, and BP p.l.c. operate across the entire value chain of the lubricants market.
The rivalry among key players is high and is expected to remain so, in the coming years, suggests a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). New players are likely to face difficulties in entering and expanding in the market, owing to the strong brand equity established by the leading players.
Asia Pacific is witnessing rapid infrastructure developments in the form of airports, ports, roads, and residential and commercial buildings. Increasing constructional activities have given rise to a heightened demand for cement, steel, and other construction material. This in turn drives the demand for lubricants as they are used in the production of cement and construction equipment. Another factor, having a positive impact on the global demand for lubricants, is the rise in the number of vehicles in developing countries.
As per the global auto report, 30 million cars were sold in Asia Pacific in 2013. The sales volume of vehicles in APAC is expected to remain high in the coming years owing to the rising disposable income of people in the developing nations.
Popularity of Hybrid-Electric Vehicles to Negatively Impact Consumption of Lubricants
Hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) facilitate the turning off of the IC engine when the power from the electrical system exceeds the amount required to propel the vehicle. This results in the internal combustion engine running for shorter duration and thus, the consumption of lubricants or engine oil in hybrid cars is low. Since hybrid cars are increasingly becoming popular in the U.S., Japan, and in Europe, the count of conventional vehicles is decreasing, subsequently impacting the demand for lubricants negatively.
Another factor that challenges the growth of the lubricants market is the improvements and advancements in engine technology and lubricant oil chemistry. Due to technology improvements, it has become possible to achieve extremely high oil drain interval in heavy duty vehicles. “This improvement in engine oil interval is reducing the consumption and the demand for lubricants worldwide,” states a TMR analyst.
Bio-based Lubricants Offer Ample Growth Opportunities
Bio-based lubricants are expensive as compared to synthetic lubricants or mineral oil and thus, will have low consumption. Nevertheless, environmental regulations are expected to provide significant growth opportunities to the bio-based lubricants market. With a regulation mandated by the International Maritime Organization on the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) in 2013, the bio-based lubricants market is expected to grow. R&D activities are being carried out to develop cost-effective and high performance bio-based lubricants that hold the potential to replace synthetic lubricants.
Asia Pacific to Lead in Lubricants Market
By region, Asia Pacific led the global lubricants market in 2013 and is expected to retain its leading position in the coming years. APAC is also expected to be the fastest growing regional market in the coming years. APAC is anticipated to account for 44.80% of the global lubricants market by 2020.
On the basis of product, mineral oil accounted for 84.70% of the global lubricants market in 2013, in terms of volume. The segment is expected to account for 82.79% of the global market by 2020. By application, automotive oils represented a share of 54.78% in the market in 2013, in terms of volume. In terms of market size, the automotive oils segment is expected to grow in the coming years.
According to the report, the global lubricants market is expected to rise from 39,140.12 kilo tons in 2013 to 44,165.11 kilo tons by 2020 expanding at a 1.72% CAGR from 2014 to 2020.
This information is based on the findings of a report published by Transparency Market Research titled “Lubricants Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2014 - 2020.”
The global lubricants market is segmented as follows:
- Mineral oil
- Automotive oils
- Industrial oils
- Metalworking fluids
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East
- RoW (Rest of the world)