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Lubricants market on the verge of becoming a highly consumer-driven business space, bio-diversification of products to be the major trend to watch for
Published Date: July 3, 2017 Author: Saipriya Iyer
The rapid expansion of global lubricants market size is directly proportional to the positive growth path of the automotive & manufacturing sectors across the world. A wide range of lubricants are utilized in the aforementioned domains as cutting fluids to lubricate the surface of a substance for reducing its friction with surrounding surfaces. In addition, lubricants possess anti-wear, antioxidant, and antifoaming properties, on account of which they are widely used in the industrial, steel, agricultural, and mining sectors as well, thereby boosting the worldwide lubricants market share.
Major companies operating in this business collaborate with renowned oil & gas firms to expand their profit margins and consolidate their position across the globe. For instance, in recent news, it was reported that the reputed lube giant, Shell Lubricants, is looking forward to expanding its market share in India. Estimates state that India oil industry size, in terms of volume, is currently 2.6 billion liters, while Shell’s share in the Indian lubricants market is around 5%. On these grounds, the company is targeting the Indian sub-continent to further expand its production base in the region and in turn, contribute toward lubricants industry growth on a regional level.
An insight into the development of lubricants market over the years
In the process of unearthing older records, it has been observed that lubrication dates back to as far as the 14th century BC, somewhere in the era of ancient Egypt. Back then, oils and animal fat were used as lubricants. The advent of the 1800s and 1900s witnessed the birth and growth of the lubricants market, subject to the rapidly growing demands from the automotive sector. In consequence, manufacturers focused on oil processing methodologies to improve the performance of lubricants. In addition, other methods such as solvent refining and using corrosion resistive additives and multi-grade automotive engine oils developed, giving a positive impetus to the lubricants market growth.
A lubricants industry analysis conducted back then affirms that solvent refining had emerged as one of the most dependable treatment processes to enhance lubricant performance. The 1950s also witnessed the emergence of synthetic lubricants market, mainly for the aviation sector and for usage in vacuum pumps, semiconductor devices, and turbines. A couple of decades later, in the 1970s, hydro-processing and hydro-isomerization technologies came into being to dewax base oils. The lubricants industry continues to evolve rapidly with the advent of the new millennium, with a wide range of products being developed to keep up with the rising demand of numerous end-use sectors. A lubricants market report put together by Global Market Insights, Inc., states that this industry is slated to double in revenue by 2022, from what it was in 2014. Having held a valuation of USD 37 billion in 2014, it is set to cross a revenue of USD 74 billion by 2022, with a CAGR projection of 2.9% over the coming five years.
Lubricants market outlook from the automotive sector
The growing demand from the automotive sector is touted to be one of the key drivers of global lubricants industry. With a rapid rise in automobile sales and globally changing standards of living, there has been an increase in the utilization of lubricants as hydraulic, brake, and gear box fluids in vehicles to avoid wear & tear in the engine components such as piston, shaft, and connecting rods.
Asia Pacific has been experiencing massive growth prospects for lubricants market, possibly owing to the fact that the automotive sector across this region has been depicting a very positive growth chart since the last few years, and has excellent growth potential over the next few years as well. Pertaining to the rapid utilization of lubricants in the metal, machining, and mining factories, APAC lubricants industry is slated to witness a substantial CAGR over the next five years. India and China, two of the most rapidly emerging economies of the region, are anticipated to be the key revenue contributors. The reason for this can be attributed to the growing automotive sector in both the nations. In addition, other factors contributing toward the regional growth of lubricants market include the heavy product demand from numerous manufacturing sectors, a rapidly increasing economy, and government support to increase the production capacity of numerous manufacturing companies.
India lubricants industry is slated to grow at a rate of 11% over 2015-2022, and will drive the regional market through the years to come. As per reliable estimates, in India, the sales of scooters increased by 33%, motorcycle sales increased by more than 15%, and passenger vehicle sales increased by more than 10% in 2016 from 2015. The efforts of companies operating in global lubricants market is also an additional factor that will reportedly scale up the commercialization of this industry. For instance, oil magnate ExxonMobil recently expanded its lubricant manufacturing facility in Jurong, with an aim to strengthen the company’s existing manufacturing capacity and consolidate its position in the APAC lubricants industry.
Lubricants market outlook from the industrial sector
As per a research analysis, industrial applications contributed to more than 35% toward the overall lubricants market share in 2014, owing to the extensive requirement of lubricants as demulsifying and emulsifying agents, as oils for gears, pistons, compressors, and engines, as catalysts in the paint and soap making factories, and as rust and corrosion inhibitors in machinery. In addition, they are used heavily in the mining, energy, and chemical sectors, which will augment industrial lubricants industry over the years to come. The product is massively utilized in the shipbuilding sector owing to its properties of viscosity and biodegradability. The appreciable growth of the marine lubricants market will thus, propel this industry forward.
The changing lubricants market trends with respect to demand and applications
Once contaminants enter lubricants, it proves to be rather difficult and expensive to expel them out. Pertaining to the fact that contaminants have easy access to lubricants, manufacturers have been working toward brainstorming new techniques to prevent their entry in lubricants. Earlier, the air-handling capacity of lubricants were less of a concern. Today however, it is imperative to deal with surface foam and entrained air before any lasting harm is done.
To enhance machine operation and sustainability, hygiene and cleanliness standards are essential to be maintained in lubricant production, which has become the latest fad of lubricants market. Incessant efforts by companies to achieve contamination control and exclusion via smart filtration and other techniques will boost lubricants market over the coming years.
Choosing lubricants with care
Earlier, lubricants were selected based solely on their viscosity index and high film strength. The latest trends in lubricants industry however, dictate that the products have to be selected based on a range of factors, pertaining to the fact they are used for numerous applications. Lubricants are now selected based on their high-performance rate, foam suppression, oxidative stability, dispersance, moisture-handling ability, excellent lubricity, viscosity index, and corrosion protection.
Subject to the rising concerns with regards to the environment, manufacturers have also been striving to come up with a widespread range of biodegradable products. In addition, it is inevitable that cost-effectiveness and high-quality form a part of the changing trends of lubricants market. Choosing inexpensive, low-quality products can prove to be disastrous for machine performance and by extension, the overall lubricants market itself, owing to which companies have been undertaking sincere efforts to manufacture cost-effective as well as high-grade lubricants.
Deployment of new techniques
Players operating in lubricants industry have been conjuring up novel methodologies to manufacture lubricants and optimize their efficiency. Of late, it has become a mandatory norm to implement the right techniques for the lubrication process. In effect, it is necessary to choose the right method, right tools, right frequency, and right location. The advent of IoT and digitization have further propelled the trends of lubricants market, as companies are leverage the power of information technology to increase productivity and optimize reliability.
Modern methods involve the usage of numerous accessories to enhance the excellence of the lubrication in machines. However, many machines are still not designed to be compatible with this accessorizing. OEMs and other end-use sectors need to step up and deploy accessories for contamination control, maintenance, perfect lubrication, and quality detection. Keeping up with the latest trends in lubricants market, companies have been retrofitting basic accessories in their machines to achieve all-round, high-grade lubrication excellence.
Experts affirm an interesting range of lubricant market trends to come into existence in the ensuing years. Some of them include high-quality packaging and storage of lubricants. For instance, all lubricants packs will have proper expiry dates and will be stores in excellent, sophisticated lube rooms. Products are expected to be tagged by means of an efficient naming and color coding system.
Changing consumer preferences are expected to drive the lubricants industry in the future. It has been predicted that over the span of the coming years, consumers will get to dictate the trends of lubricants market. Users are expected to make refined choices as far as lubricant demand if concerned. The years ahead will witness the development of cost-effective, high quality, and high performing lubricants. Manufacturers will focus on contamination control, lubrication excellence, and quality technical support.
The application scope of lubricants market will continue to rise as market players venture into novel product development. Keeping in line with the regulations enforced by the government, companies have even begun to develop a wider range of bio-based products with a view to contribute toward environmental safety. With a plethora of applications to its credit, lubricants industry is certain to chart a commendable growth graph over the coming five years.
Global Market Insights, Inc. has a report titled “Lubricants Market Size By Application (Automotive [Hydraulic & Transmission Fluid, Grease, Passenger Vehicle Engine Oils, Heavy-Duty Engine Oils, Automatic Transmission Fluid, Gear Oil], Industrial [Process Oils, Metal Working Fluids, General Industrial Oils, Industrial Engine Oils]), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Germany, UK, China, India, Japan, LATAM, MEA), Application Potential, Price Trend, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2015 – 2022” available at https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/lubricants-market