The global synthetic and bio-based lubricants market is moderately concentrated, and is currently dominated by multi-national corporations. These organizations are enjoying a stronger hold in the market chiefly because of their widespread distribution networks, as stated by Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new report. However, at regional level in the synthetic and bio-based lubricants market, SMEs are contributing to cut-throat competition.
The top three companies, comprising Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobile, and British Petroleum, held a cumulative share of 34.5% in the global synthetic lubricant market in 2011. Meanwhile the global Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobile, British Petroleum, Chevron, Castrol, and Total with a share of over 83.5% in 2011.
According to TMR, the overall demand for synthetic lubricants around the world stood at 35.1 million tons in 2011. Exhibiting a CAGR of 2.48% between 2012 and 2018, it is expected to reach 41.5 million tons by the end of 2018. However, the global market for bio-based lubricants market is projected to rise at a higher CAGR of 6.6% between 2012 and 2018. Rising at this pace, the market, which stood at 505.5 kilo tons in 2011, is projected to reach 785.0 kilo tons before 2018 ends.
Based on product type, the industrial sector accounted for the dominant share of 38.6% in the global synthetic lubricants market by volume share in 2011. In the global bio-based lubricants market, the vegetable oil segment emerged as the clear winner with a share of 87.5% by volume in 2011. Asia Pacific led the global synthetic lubricants market in 2011, with a volume share of 40.8%. In the bio-based lubricants market, North America registered lead with a share of 34.8% by volume in 2011.
High Application in Automotive Industry Creates Considerable Demand for Lubricants Worldwide
Lubricants are integral to the automotive industry. The automotive sector has thus emerged as the largest application segment for lubricants. Lubricants are widely used to reduce heat in internal combustion engines to reduce the heat produced during friction, thereby extending the engine life. This is a major factor sealing the dominance of the automotive sector in the lubricants market. Thus, growth witnessed in the industry, will subsequently create opportunities for sales for the synthetic and bio-based lubricants market. Among the two variants, synthetic lubricants would benefit more as they register a higher consumption in the automotive sector.
The demand for bio-based lubricants, meanwhile, is rising due to the widespread demand for reducing dependence on crude oil. Besides minimizing the damage to the environment, bio-based lubricants have potential to offer several commercial benefits as well. “Due to the regulatory support received from various government and international organizations, the bio-based or mineral oil-based lubricants are poised to witness high demand in the near future,” said a lead TMR analyst. “On the flip side, volatility witnessed in mineral oil prices could hamper their growth,” he added.
Price Volatility Hampers Growth Trajectory of Synthetic and Bio-based Lubricants Market
Due to supply uncertainties and shipping disputes, massive fluctuation in mineral oil prices is reported. The volatility in price is creating difficult operating conditions for the mineral oil industry, thus discouraging consumers from spending on mineral oils. Furthermore, the cost of bio-based lubricants is considerably higher than synthetic variants, which holds back the market’s growth to an extent. In order to enjoy a positive growth trajectory, it is important for the vendors to explore newer application areas for bio-based lubricants. Currently, their limited scope of application pose a major restraint for the market.
Expanding Scope of Application for Mineral Lubricants Holds Promise for Market’s Growth
The market currently has immense opportunities for expansion as leading players focus on increasing their research and development efforts to drive product innovation. Due to the mounting environmental concerns, vegetable oils are finding way into the industrial and transportation segments. Besides environmental benefits such as biodegrability and renewability, bio-based lubricants can be used for a plethora of applications. This holds promise for future growth of the global synthetic and bio-based lubricants market.
This review is based on information published by TMR in a report, titled “Synthetic & Bio-Based Lubricants Market - Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Share, Trends, Analysis, Growth And Forecast, 2012 – 2018.”
The report segments the global synthetic and bio-based lubricants market as:
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)
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