Strategic Analysis of the Global Lubricant Market and the Impact of Bio-based Feedstock

  • January 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 183 pages


Table of Contents

North America and Europe Push Premium, Sustainable Lubricants over Volume

This research service identifies the major industry drivers, restraints, regional trends, and technology segment trends in the global lubricants market. The research covers four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (ROW). The study provides in-depth analysis of automotive, industrial, marine, and aviation segments with percentage splits across regions, product segments, and application segments. Competitive structure and market share analysis have been completed at the total market level. Unit shipment, revenue forecasts, and pricing trends have been provided for each of the segments. The base year is 2012 and the forecast period ends in 2019. The 3 big predictions concern the future of the market.

Key Findings

• The global lubricants market is driven by dynamic advancements in vehicle/equipment design and changing fuel quality, which compel lubricant manufacturers to develop high-end formulations.
• Performance requirements are driven further by original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) demands for improved efficiency, reduced carbon footprints, and optimised fuel consumption. Regulatory authorities are relentlessly working towards developing standards and frameworks to drive the adoption of cleaner, safer, and more efficient lubricants.
• With BRIC countries dominating the global environment, given their increased manufacturing, automotive production, and international trade, lubricants markets are projected to move to developing nations. However, the well developed European and North American markets are expected to remain the central hub for technological advancements. For instance, the adoption of synthetic lubricants is progressing rapidly in these regions in comparison to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the Rest of World (ROW) markets, fuelled by regulatory implications and customer demands.
• The global lubricant market is dominated by the leading oil majors, most of which are vertically integrated with crude oil production to lubricant manufacturing. International oil majors, along with regional oil companies, hold a major share in the competitive landscape.

Executive Summary—Strategic Factsheet

Market Potential
• The global lubricants market is forecast to reach $X million by 2020.
• Unit shipments are expected to reach X million tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of X%.
• APAC is projected to continue dominating the geographic landscape, with X% in 2020.

Market Opportunities
• The APAC and ROW markets are projected to grow rapidly in lubricant volumes, especially in the automotive and industrial segments.
• Opportunities in the marine and aviation segments are moving from the North American and European markets to APAC and ROW.

Market Competition
• The global lubricants market is highly competitive, with the top three market participants holding a X% share in 2013.
• Broad product portfolio, reliability, and product performance remain the key competitive aspects in the lubricants market.

Market Size
• The global lubricants market is currently estimated at $X million and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of X% between 2013 and 2020.
• The automotive segment, with X% volume share, dominates the lubricants market. The aviation segment is poised for a revenue CAGR of X%.

CEO’s Perspective

1. Customer demands for high-performance lubricants are driven by regulatory trends towards improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon footprints.
2. The economic contractions in Europe and North America have affected lubricant demand significantly, and market participants are expanding into the high-growth APAC and ROW markets to tap into those growth opportunities.
3. The global lubricants market is dominated by the top 5 oil majors with a strong presence across the value chain, from oil production to lubricant marketing.
4. Establishing strong product lines of synthetic and bio-based lubricants have become key competitive aspects in the market to attract OEMs focused on equipment/vehicle efficiency and environmental sustainability.
5. Merger and acquisition (M&A) activities are expected to continue, with global oil majors acquiring smaller manufacturers to gain access to their product/technical competence, distribution channels, and customer base.

Market Definitions

• This research service examines the global lubricants market.
• Lubricants are defined as a substance that reduces friction, and thus wear and tear between two surfaces in relative motion.
• The research analyses lubricants used in the industrial, automotive, marine, and aviation sectors.
• The report examines further the penetration of mineral oil, synthetic, and bio-based lubricants in the segment markets.
• Product categories, such as engine oils, metal working fluids, and gear oils, are also discussed at the segment level.
• Market revenues and volumes are expressed in dollars and tons respectively. Average lubricant prices are represented in $/T.


Geographic Coverage: Global
Study Period: 2010–2020
Base Year: 2013
Forecast Period: 2014–2020
CAGR Period: 2013–2020
Monetary Unit: US Dollars
Conversion Rate: €1.00 = $

• This study includes lubricants formulated using base oils constituting Groups I, II, III, IV, and V. Base oils are grouped according to the key raw material source, viscosity index, manufacturing processes, and degree of purity.
• Groups I, II, and III are mineral oil based, Group IV are synthetic based, and Group V constitute both synthetic and bio-based lubricants. Base oils from poly-alpha olefins (PAO) are classified under Group IV, and other chemically derived formulations that include silicones, esters, and polyalkylene glycols (PAGs), along with plant and animal derivatives, are classified as Group V base oils. Bright stocks that are high-viscosity base oils are classified under Group I lubricants. The following table illustrates the key differences between lubricant categories. The study analyses lubricants by mineral-oil, synthetic oil, and bio-based lubricants.

Key Questions This Study Will Answer

Is the market growing, how long will it continue to grow, and at what rate?
Which segments are poised to grow in the future?
What are the key factors driving and restricting growth in this market?
What are the regional trends in the market?
Who are the leading market participants?
What are the key competitive factors governing this market?

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