According to the Market Statsville Group (MSG), the global lubricant market size is expected to grow from USD 162.0 billion in 2021 to USD 207.7 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 2.8% from 2022 to 2030. Lubricants are fluids, oils, or greases that minimize friction between two surfaces that are near together. Because they minimize friction between moving parts, these fluids are critical in automotive and industrial applications. They are also used in industrial parts to prevent corrosion, oxidation, and thermal stability. Over time, the increased competition among renowned industry players has benefited market expansion. Major manufacturers are aggressively spending in the global market to keep ahead of the competition. Shell, for instance, expanded its operations in October 2020 to provide edge lubrication items and services to businesses in various industries, ensuring that equipment runs smoothly.
Because of increased knowledge about alternatives to mineral oil-related commodities, the worldwide market for synthetic lubes for large-scale industries has developed. During the projection period, synthetic lubricant demand is predicted to be driven by the growing automotive industry and industrial expansion. Because of their superior effectiveness over natural mineral oils, synthetic variants have gained in popularity and have gradually begun to supplant natural mineral oils as the preferred lubricant for various sectors that require high levels of consistency. Polyalphaolefin is the most often utilized synthetic base oil in industrial and automotive applications. Due to their inherent physical and chemical properties, they have decreased volatility, a greater viscosity index, a lower pour point, and improved oxidative/thermal stability.
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COVID–19 Impact on the Global Lubricant Market
During the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive lockdown in vital production fields such as metalworking, fabrication, oil and gas, chemicals, and consumer items occurred throughout all regions, resulting in a short-term output standstill. As a result, industrial demand for lubricating oils fell precipitously. However, the industrial sector could restore partial operations as the lockdown was progressively removed. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the industrial sector will take longer to attain full capacity. This further lowered lubricant use. COVID-19 also had a substantial influence on global car manufacturing. Global vehicle manufacturing fell by 16%, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. Furthermore, because most owners worked from home, they rarely used their vehicles or bikes, reducing consumption considerably. Because the automobile industry consumes the most lubricating oils, declining vehicle sales and usage hampered market development.
Global Lubricant Market Dynamics
Drivers: Demand for high-performance engines is driving the lubricant market to develop and flourish
Internal combustion engine design has evolved since Ford produced the first commercial automobile in the early 20th century. Because of engine improvements, the internal engine parts are now subjected to significantly increased stress and heat. This has also resulted in extremely high RPM engines that demand higher-grade engine oil. Aside from that, the transmission system within a car has improved, with vehicles capable of reaching speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. Technologies for gears and bearings have also progressed. Better lubricants are required for all of these developments and evolutions. Lubricants have developed and extended as a result.
Restraints: Increased demand for hybrid vehicles and rising battery prices
Hybrid cars include a small internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor to maximize power consumption and reduce vehicle emissions. Lubricants are required for ICE within a car, namely engine oil and transmission fluid. According to industry analysts, the increased number of hybrid vehicles would cut lubricant use per vehicle virtually in half. In conjunction with rising battery parity, this aspect will diminish the volume of the global lubricants business. Batteries for electric cars are quite expensive, but as technology improves, the cost decreases, and the driving range per charge improves. These variables have a significant influence on lubricant use.
Opportunities: Renewable energy demand will have a favorable influence on the lubricants market
The power industry consumes a lot of industrial lubricants, from turbine oil to transformer oil. Lubricants are utilized in a variety of applications. Renewable energy is a promising subsegment of the power generation business. The World Wind Energy Association reports that although wind power generation still makes up a relatively small portion of the global energy mix, it is growing at a rate of 10% annually and had a capacity of 596,556 megawatts in 2018. Lubricants are necessary for the best performance of wind turbines.
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Scope of the Global Lubricant Market
The study categorizes the lubricant market based on base oil, end-use industry, and product type at regional and global levels.
By Base Oil Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017–2030)
- Mineral Oil
- Synthetic Oil
- Bio-based Oil
By End-Use Industry Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017–2030)
- Commercial vehicles
- Passenger vehicles
- Mining & Metal
- Cement Production
- Power Generation
- Automobile Manufacturing
- Oil & Gas
- Food Processing
By Product Type Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017–2030)
- Engine Oil
- Hydraulic fluid
- Metalworking fluid
- Gear Oil
- Compressor oil
- Turbine Oil
- Transformer Oil
- Refrigeration Oil
- Textile Machinery Lubricants
By Region Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017–2030)
- North America
- The Netherlands
- Czech Republic
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Australia & New Zealand
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- South America
- Rest of South America
- The Middle East & Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Northern Africa
- Rest of MEA
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Engine oil segment accounts for the largest market share by product type
Based on the product type, the lubricant market is divided into engine oil, hydraulic fluid, metalworking fluid, gear oil, compressor oil, grease, turbine oil, and others. Engine oil segment dominated the global lubricant market due to its extensive use in the transportation sector in comparison to other types, as well as its demand from the construction industry, particularly from construction vehicles. Moreover, with the growing population, vehicle consumption has increased for ease of mobility, thereby augmenting the segmental growth.
Asia Pacific accounts for the largest market share by Region
Based on the regions, the global lubricant market has been segmented across North America, Asia–Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Asia–Pacific Region accounts for the largest share of the global lubricants industry in terms of both volume and value. The region’s growing population, along with increased industrial investment and infrastructure development in the expanding economies of China, India, and Indonesia, is expected to make it a suitable location for the lubricants industry.
The Middle East is currently growing, yet, the dynamics of the petroleum industry mostly govern the region’s growth. Despite sociopolitical unrest, the region’s large oil and gas deposits make it an essential business component. The decline in crude oil prices prompted an economic downturn, but countries’ economies have improved, which speaks well for future demand for all types of lubricants. Increased automobile use and a change in the middle-class population in Africa are creating prospective demand for automotive lubricants. Furthermore, government restrictions and OEM requirements propel the sector ahead.
The economic downturn has negatively influenced Latin American demand, although it remains above average due to the demands of the car sector. The Latin American automotive sector comprises Brazil and Mexico, the two main automobile markets in Latin America. The two countries agreed on free trade in light commercial vehicles and auto parts.
In North America, the automobile industry dominated the market. The relatively large automobile sector in the United States has contributed to the market’s phenomenal rise. Furthermore, the industrial sector has demonstrated consistent growth throughout the years and is expected to continue in the next years. Because of strict environmental protection regulations, North America consumes a lot of ecologically friendly products. ExxonMobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevron Corporation are all present in the United States. Because all major industry participants are focused on building their client base to acquire a competitive advantage over other firms in the ecosystem, the market has been marked by intense rivalry.
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Key Market Players in the Global Lubricant Market
The global lubricant market is highly competitive, with key industry players adopting strategies such as product development, partnerships, acquisitions, agreements, and expansion to strengthen their market positions. Most market companies focus on expanding operations across regions, augmenting their capabilities, and building strong partner relations.
Major players in the global lubricant market are:
- Royal Dutch Shell
- BP PLC
- Chevron Corporation
- Total S.A
- Petrochina Company Limited
- Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd.
- Sinopec Limited
- Fuchs Petrolub AG
- Gazprom Neft