Global Lubricating Oil Market is Growing at a Significant Rate in the Forecast Period 2019-2025


Growing demand for oil additives in automotive and industrial sectors

The demand for oil additives in various industrial sectors have been increasing although, the sector which is mostly gaining traction is automotive.

Engine oil lubricants contribute over half of the lubricant market and therefore have high penetration in the industry. They mainly extend the life of automobiles under many conditions such as pressure, temperature and speed. The main work of lubricants is to reduce friction and heat from the moving parts of vehicles and also prevents various contaminants from doing any damage.

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  • In September 2009, Chevron world’s third largest oil company decided to pull out Indian lube market as the company didn’t manage its dependence on third parties for the sale its product
  • BP-owned Castrol India, the world’s fifth largest manufacture of oil with USD 3624.4 Million. Indian lubricant markets are growing at the annual rate of 5% because of their strong distribution network of petroleum retail outlets.

In June, 2008 Shell and Maserati introduced new motor oil under the brand name Shell Helix Ultra Maserati 10W-60 that came with high performance and increased life span of automotive parts.  They also had technical partnerships that enabled them to expand knowledge of lubrication science to commercial products. As, the demand for lubricative oil industries increased by automotive sector more; it showed a complete growth for lubricants additives market. The chemical compounds that are added to lubricating oils market enhances the properties of base oil and hence are termed as lubricating oil additives which are the major end users of automotive and industrial sectors. Therefore, the growing demand of oil additives in automotive industrial sector is the key driver for boosting the lubricative oil additives market as they make the biggest part for lubricants market.

Increasing investment by various multinational companies

Investment by various multinational companies in lubricating oil markets results in opening new horizons for economic development in any country. Companies also undergo for substantial benefits mainly for large cost savings and revenue gain from various markets. It was observed by various lubricants manufactures that going global is not so easy for the success of the companies hence; Multinational companies are the way to transfer their competitive products and processes. But, sometimes regulatory restrictions and organizational limitations prevent some companies from pursuing in restructuring of the industry.

Developing countries with the investment of multinational companies by having proper range of skills and capital showed how it created positive economic value in different lubricating oil additives industries. The process of globalization in all countries is not uniform in extent to develop and developing countries. Investment by multinational companies creates new opportunities resulting in reduced costs.

  • Gulf Oil was spotted as number two among private lubricant brands and opened a new plant in Chennai by making investment with the Hinduja Group in order to increase the market share and position of the company in lubricants industry.
  • Petronas with the investment showed how Brazil consumed 1.4 billion liters of lubricants in 2012 due to which the market showed a huge growth in 2018.

Bio based materials are used as a raw materials for the coating industries that leads to increasing sustainability and also leads to no negative impact on environment which is helping the growth of colorants market globally In developing countries, multinational companies also provide inflow of capital that increases the economy development and productive capacity in lubricating oil market. These companies also provide employment, although, the wages seems low but people often sees these jobs as preferable enough. The investment made by the big companies also diversifies the economy away from relying on the products and agriculture to which the market is related.


Fluctuating prices of raw materials in lubricative oil additives

The price of lubricants is expected to increase for many oil manufacturers by 5-7% on lubricating oils, coolants and greases.

  • On 5th march 2018, SCL raised major oil brands and unbranded products by some percentage in order to meet customer need and request in order to get benefit from current price levels.

It was observed that these fluctuations in price impacted the business of lubricating oils in one or other way to help offset as much of that impact as possible. As different industries changes with time, it results in fluctuations of the prices such as increase or decrease in price of raw materials used in lubricants in order to provide viable solutions to meet product and bottom line needs.

It is very obvious that people don’t like increase in price which was a very sensitive topic for SCL. So, the company decided to understand fluctuations in pricing by looking at the changes that were occurring in market and what were the factors affecting the prices.

An observation was made by the company that the price of raw materials used in lubricants is mainly affected by external factors. The cost is affected due to glut of supply, hikes in demand, different impacts of natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes that gives a huge loss in production and shipping and also by political unrest in other countries such as protests and strikes.

In 2014, the oil price declined and gave a major shock to the global chemical industries. Many chemical industries were caught when a substantial decline was observed in half of 2014. In comparison to this, oil supply has grown larger in last some years with the new production because of usage of US light tight oil (LTO) that was produced by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

On the other side, growth slowed as a result of global economic growth and efficiency increase of energy that was driven by high oil prices and initiatives towards carbon dioxide reduction.


Usage of biodegradable hydraulic fluids

The usage of biodegradable hydraulic fluids has improved over the last some years and is not ready to be replaced by mineral based hydraulic fluids. They are the standards through which power is generated. These systems are supposed to perform even at high pressure, high temperature and other strong operations. They are also used in compressibility and have constant usage in system. They hold an important application in energy transmission, lubrication and heat removal.

These types of hydraulic fluids are also used for big machines and are environment friendly. Normally, hydraulic fluids may be hazardous to the environment; therefore, usage of biodegradable hydraulic fluids   can be an opportunity for the lubricative market as they don’t hold much negative impact on the environment.

  • Biodegradable fluids provides high standard testing which proves that they can be effective for power transmission and are environment friendly. These fluids are also high- performance and are introduced for robust of hydraulic applications. Pumps are generally becoming smaller with high expectations for output and efficiency. These types of oils also reduce the downtime costs and machinery that increases operating reliability and results in delivering a significant reduction in total operating costs.
  • Biodegradable hydraulic fluids are free of zinc, toxic metals and other substances. They are environment friendly meaning that they will be decomposing easily into non-toxic elements soon. A major use of this type of fluid is that they are less likely to harm animals and plants. These types of fluids are obtained from renewable resources, high lubricity base oils and anti-corrosion additives. They also reduce friction and operating temperatures.


Lubricant oxidation can lead to destruction

There are many challenges faced by the lubricant industry such as oxidation and degradation of oil additives. Oxidation is basically the mechanism of reaction with oxygen and is responsible for sludge and sediment formation, base oil breakdown, filter plugging, acid number increase, rust and corrosion. Hence the control of oxidation is definitely a challenge in extending the lubricant’s life.

The most important reaction on lubricants is breakdown of smaller chains. This breakdown results in altering the ability of that molecule to carry the load between two solid surfaces. This new shape of molecule helps it to interact with normal lubricative molecule which results in greater viscous heating.

The acids produce in lubricant’s performance increases the corrosive component wear. It is important to understand the root causes of oxidation and warning signals that are produced by oil analysis. So, the management of lubricant oxidation is the main requirement for excellence of lubrication.

The excessive fuel used is the principle cause of dilution by fuel, water contamination due to cold surfaces in the crankcase that condense the water vapour of combustion due to which dust enters through the engine bearing surfaces  most rapidly. Hence the oxidation of fuels sometime can also lead to blast leading in big destruction later on.

Major Players: Global Lubricating Oil Market 

Some of the major players operating in this market are The Lubrizol Corporation Company, Infineum International Limited, Afton Chemical, Chevron Corporation, Evonik and others.