Driven by the enforcement of eco-friendly policies, rising vehicle production and manufacturing output, the global lubricants market will earn an estimated $178.87 billion in revenues in 2020, up from $123.64 billion in 2013, according to research by Frost & Sullivan.
Stringent environmental regulations, such as the European Commission’s framework specifying carbon dioxide emission reduction targets and US regulations governing corporate average fuel economy are propelling the need for more efficient lubricants in those markets, according to Strategic Analysis of the Global Lubricant Market and the Impact of Bio-based Feedstock. The study analyses lubricants used in the industrial, automotive, marine and aviation sectors.
Customers, especially in the automotive and industrial segments, are opting for high-value group II and III lubricants with improved quality and performance, spurring market growth, the report says.
While higher-priced advanced lubricants support market revenues in developed countries, the extended drain intervals of these superior products reduces the number of times the vehicle/equipment needs to be serviced, cutting down on volumes consumed. Growing emphasis on manufacturing parts and materials with improved wear resistance is another factor that diminishes lubricant use, the report says.
The economic contraction in Europe has added to the challenge, affecting automotive and industrial sale volumes, in turn, curbing lubricant adoption. Sluggish growth is thus compelling global lubricant manufacturers to move production facilities to the Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world to tap immediate opportunities in the automotive and industrial segments and long-term potential in the marine and aviation sectors, the report says.
Establishing strong product lines of both synthetic and bio-based lubricants will be crucial to attract original equipment manufacturers that are focused on equipment and vehicle efficiency and environmental sustainability, according to research analyst Soundarya Shankar. In the case of bio-based lubricants that are formulated using bio-degradable and renewable feedstock, technological advancements and extensive research and development activities that improve performance will be critical for widespread uptake, according to Shankar.
Earlier this month, Versalis and Elevance Renewable Sciences signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a partnership to jointly develop and scale a new metathesis technology to produce bio-chemicals from vegetable oils. The partners will assess the design and construction of the first world-scale ethylene metathesis-based production that will utilize renewable oils at the Versalis Porto Marghera site.