The growth in the lubricants industry is directly depended on the performance of other end-use industries, such as automotive, heavy equipment, and several others. Lubricants are vastly used to reduce friction between components and to reduce the wear and tear of vehicles. With the surging demand for vehicles from the transportation industry and heavy equipment from the construction industry, the demand for lubricants is rising, in order to increase the lifespan of vehicles and equipment. Owing to such factors, the lubricants market is projected to demonstrate a CAGR of 2.3% during the forecast period (2020–2030), to generate $115,350.6 million revenue by 2030.
The COVID-19 has impacted the lubricants industry in a negative way. In order to mitigate the COVID-19 spread, several countries had been implemented the national lockdown, which led to the shutdown of all manufacturing facilities, except the essential ones. As a result, the demand for lubricants reduced. Further, the supply chain disruption led to the imbalance in crude oil supply–demand, which impacted the lubricants market negatively. As per the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global oil demand is expected to fall by a record 9.3 million barrel per day year-on-year in 2020.
Mineral Oil to Continue Showcase its Dominancy in Lubricants Market
The lubricants market is categorized into mineral oil, synthetic oil, and bio-based oil, on the basis of base oil. Among these, the mineral oil category is expected to retain its top position during the forecast period. Developing and emerging economies prefer mineral oils over synthetic and bio-based, since the cost of mineral oil is less. Moreover, less stringent environment protection policies in these nations compared to developed nations also provides support to the sales of mineral oil lubricants.
The lubricants market is classified into engine oil, transmission and hydraulic fluid oil, gear oil, general industrial oil, grease, metalworking oil, process oil, and others, based on product type. Among these, the engine oil category accounted for the largest market share in 2019. This is mainly ascribed to the increasing sales of new vehicles across the world, thus the demand for engine oils is rising. Further, surging consumer awareness about the benefits of using engine oils in vehicles, mainly in developing nations, is also driving the growth of the market.
The lubricants market, on the basis of end-user, is categorized into automotive and other transportation, heavy equipment, food and beverages, metallurgy and metalworking, chemical, and others. Of these, the automotive and other transportation industry accounted for the largest demand for lubricants in 2019. With the globalization, the aviation and marine industry is growing significantly, and a greater number of aircraft and ships are manufactured to cater to the customers’ requirement. As a result, the demand for lubricants is increasing to maintain proper functioning of aircraft and ships.
Geographically, APAC held the largest share in the lubricants market in 2019. The region is a manufacturing hub for the world, and companies are shifting their manufacturing facilities in the region due to low labor and raw material costs, which result in increasing demand for lubricants. Presence of large number of industries where lubricants are used to run the machinery and equipment smoothly lead to the largest market share. Further, the region is witnessing the vast demographic and increasing people per capita income, which lead to rising sales of new vehicles. To maintain the efficiency of vehicles, consumers are using lubricants in the form of engine oil, brake oil, and transmission fluid, amongst others. Thus, these factors boost the demand for lubricants in the region.
Merger and Acquisition is the New Trend Among Key Players
Key players operating in the lubricants market follow the strategy of merger & acquisition to hold their positions in the industry. For instance, in April 2019, FUCHS PETROLUB SE acquired NULON Products Australia Pty Ltd. for $12.33 million, to expand its lubricants business in Australia. NULON Products Australia Pty Ltd. manufactured lubricants, coolants, and additives for the automotive sector and employed 65 people in 2018.
In April 2019, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. completed the merger to become the second-largest lubricants supplier in Japan. The new company is called Idemitsu Kosan Co., but business will be conducted under the trade name of Idemitsu Showa Shell. Total sales including other oil and petroleum business was about $52 billion, and the company had 130,000 employees in 2019.
Some of the key players operating in the global lubricants market are PetroChina Company Limited, BP p.l.c., China Petroleum & Chemical corporation (Sinopec), Royal Dutch Shell p.l.c., FUCHS PETROLUB SE, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd., Chevron Corporation, Illinois Tool Works Inc., Buhmwoo Chemical Ind. Co. Ltd., Castrol Ltd., Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.