The Global Lubricants Market size was estimated at over 35 million tons in 2020 and the market is projected to register a CAGR of less than 2% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The global automotive supply industry is heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, as both the production and sales of motor vehicles came to a sudden halt in most of the regions. These work stoppages have lead to a loss in the production of millions of vehicles across the world. According to OICA, automobile production has declined by around 23% in the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. This has negatively affected the demand for lubricants in 2020.
- In the short term, a major factor driving the market studied is the increasing demand for high-performance lubricants (owing to their better and improved properties, such as reduced flammability, reduced gear wear, and increased service life).
- Engine oil dominated the market and is expected to grow during the forecast period, as it is widely used to lubricate internal combustion engines.
- Growing prominence for bio-lubricants is likely to act as an opportunity in the future.
- Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the world, with the largest consumption coming from the countries, such as China and India.
Key Market Trends
Automotive and Other Transportation Segment to Dominate the Market
- Automotive and other transportation media, such as aircraft and marine, are the largest markets for lubricants.
- Engine designs have been continually improved to enhance performance, increase efficiency, and, at the same time, to meet the environmental emission regulations.
- Light-duty vehicles include two-wheelers and passenger cars. Engine oils, gear oils, transmission oils, greases, and compressor oils are the most widely used lubricants in these automobiles. Lubricants have a good share in both the OEM and the aftermarket.
- Typical medium-duty trucks include utility, courier and package delivery trucks, ambulances, shuttle buses, school buses, and recreational vehicles. However, straight trucks continue to be the predominant medium-duty chassis.
- Medium-duty and high-performance lubricants are used extensively in these vehicles, as the components, such as gears, transmission systems, and engine, are subjected to high loads and rapid rubbing, thereby, producing ample heat.
- After an encouraging term of growth in the automotive sector during the past decade, the momentum has slowed down over the recent years. Sales of new vehicles are going down in Europe.
- In 2020, COVID-19 has severely impacted the automobile sector with lockdown implemented across all countries, which has resulted in an automotive production halt. In the first nine months of 2020, the automotive production has witnessed a decline of around 23% compared to the same period in the previous year.
- All the above mentioned factors are expected to negatively affect the market growth during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market
- The Asia-Pacific region dominated the global market share. With the increasing need for wind power and a large automotive production base in countries, such as China, India, and Japan, the usage of lubricants is increasing in the region.
- China is the largest lubricant consumer in the region, and the world, followed by the United States. Apart from automotive and wind power, chemical manufacturing is another prominent end-user industry in China.
- The Chinese automotive manufacturing industry is the largest in the world. The industry witnessed a huge slowdown in 2018, wherein the production and sales declined. The similar trend continued in 2019, with the production witnessing a 7.5% decline in 2019. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the automotive production has witnessed a decline of around 6.7% in the first nine months of 2020.
- In India, major automotive manufacturers, like Maruti, Tata, Honda, and Mahindra, have shut down their production facilities, owing to the unsold stock. This is expected to have a major negative impact on Indiaâ€™s automotive production in the future.
- The automotive production in India has been witnessing a slowdown since the second half of 2019 until now. This is mainly on the backdrop of reduced automotive sales and COVID-19 impact. The reduction in sales can be accounted to the weak consumer consumption expenditure, especially in the rural areas, followed by policy uncertainty regarding the shift to a new level in the Bharat Stage (BS) standard and the electric vehicle policy, which are restraining the growth of the market studied.
- The aforementioned factors are in turn, expected to have a significant impact on the lubricant consumption in the region, during the forecast period.
The market studied is consolidated among the top 10 players. The top companies have been utilizing competitive strategies and investments to retain and expand their shares. The top five players, namely, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobil Corporation, BP p.l.c., Chevron Corporation, and Total.
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