Global Lubricants Demand
Moving parts need lubricant to prevent friction-related damage, to disperse heat, to maintain structural integrity and ensure a long use life. From automotive engines to boat motors, airplane engines to generators, lubricants are in useall around us, all the time. Taking a look at the global demand for lubricants, the various types in use, and the forecast for the future can be illuminating.
Who Uses the Most?
According to Reuters, the Asia-Pacific region is the largest global consumer of lubricants, with a market share of 45%. Note that the industry also expects the Asia-Pacific region to lead the way in terms of future growth, as well, as it continues to be the world’s manufacturing base and following consumer trends in nations like China, where personal automobile purchases continue to increase.
Global Automobile Usage: Interesting Facts and Figures
What Industry Dominates Lubricant Consumption?
While there are many industries that require lubricants, none compare to the automotive industry. In 2015, the automotive industry was responsible for 52% of the planet’s lubricant demand. In 2018, it had risen to 57%, and that is only set to increase in coming years. China and India will play central roles in both the automotive industry of the future and in the consumption of lubricants of all types.
Other Industries and Their Demand for Lubricants
While the automotive industry is the primary source of demand for lubricants, there are others, as mentioned above. Each of these varies in terms of lubricant demand, but include:
- Food processing
- Chemical manufacturing
- Energy production
Lubricant Type Breakdown
What lubricants currently make up the global market? It goes much deeper than motor oil. In 2017, Fuchs noted the following breakdown for lubricant types within the market:
Automotive oils – 57%
Industrial oils – 26%
MWF/CP – 6%
Process oils – 8%
Greases – 3%
It should be noted that those percentages were not radically different from 2000, despite an increase of hundreds of millions of vehicles in the intervening time.
What about the Future?
While growth predictions vary and are affected by things like socioeconomic turmoil, war, oil exploration, and even global sentiment involving fossil fuels, the future for lubricants looks bright indeed. In mid-2019, a report was produced that indicated the global lubricants market size was projected to reach $166 billion (US) by 2025, with a CAGR of 3.75 within that time.
A press release for the report noted many reasons for this expected growth, including growing key application areas for lubricants, beyond the automotive segment, including wire rope and bearing production, energy production, infrastructure development, and more. In addition, the report noted, “Extensive inland shipping network of Europe and further development if inland waterways and their growing importance for trade and passenger travel is expected to drive demand for marine lubricants.”
Ultimately, the lubricant market is massive, and it is only going to grow larger, driven by trends in China and India, the wider Asia-Pacific region, followed by the United States and Europe.