Projected to grow at a CAGR of almost 2% from 2016 to 2024, synthetic lubricant market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period owing to growing consumer in emerging countries such as Europe and North America. The majority of technician, automotive engineers and garage owners in this region are well aware of benefits of these lubricants over traditional mineral oil lubricant.
Rapid growth of industrialization and automotive sector in Asia-Pacific region such as China and India owing to enhanced product launches by vehicle manufacturers and new machine installation is expected to drive the market in next few years. The emergence of Mexico as an automotive hub on account of rising domestic consumption is anticipated to drive the market in the next eight years. Moreover, air emission control regulations along with OEM recommendation to use these materials in the listed countries are to further drive the market demand over the forecast period.
These materials are being increasingly used across various industries owing to their low friction, good thermal stability, load carrying capacity, and wear and tear protection properties over mineral counterparts. These properties are likely to have a positive impact over the industry. Enhancement in technologies such as fire-resistant ester based hydraulic oils coupled with hydraulic power packs intended for high pressure and temperature are increasingly being used across various industries which is to fuel the growth of industry.
PAG lubricant with properties such as biodegradability, water solubility and high viscosity indexes are preferred over PAO lubricants on account of low cost and similar property. Thus, PAG lubricant can drive the market over the coming years.
However, high cost of synthetic lubricant over conventional mineral oils is anticipated to hinder the growth of industry over the forecast period. Stringent regulations to use high performance lubricants provide ample opportunities in this industry.
Synthetic Lubricant market can be bifurcated on the basis of product and application. On the basis of product, market can be divided into polyalphaolefin (PAO), esters, group lll (Hydrocracking) and polyalkylene Glycol (PAG). PAO dominated the industry in the recent past and they are touted to continue their dominance over the forecast period owing to their low cost and superior properties.
PAO based lubricants are compatible with other synthetic and mineral oils. The compatibility factor is anticipated to drive PAO lubricants market over the next eight years. They are used as metal working fluids, engine oils, gear oils, heat transfer fluids, engine oils and compressor oils for providing seal protection, increasing drain intervals and reducing component failure.
Ester based products are anticipated to witness significant gains in terms of volume over the forecast period. Growing application of ester-based products in jet engines on account of providing high thermal stability is expected to have a positive impact on the industry. Positive aerospace industry outlook in U.S. is expected to promote the sales of jet engine which in turn will increase the demand for ester.
On the basis of application, engine oil dominated the industry in the recent past. Increasing automotive sales in emerging countries such as China and India is to fuel the demand for engine oil over the forecast period. Heat transfer fluids are expected to remain fastest growing application in terms of volume.
The ability of HTF to maintain the viscosity of petroleum products in booster pumps for pipeline transportation in downstream oil & gas sector is expected to have a favorable impact on the industry. Rapid growth of industrialization in emerging countries is to have a positive impact on the industry.
Europe was the largest regional market for synthetic lubricants in 2016 and is expected to witness the further growth on account of the presence of key aerospace and automotive manufacturing companies including BMW, Ford, Airbus and Rolls Royce. Rising importance of lubrication cost over maintenance expenditure in the manufacturing sector of Europe has compelled the application in transmission systems and heat transfer mediums. Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth in terms of volume over the forecast period.
Positive automobile industry outlook in China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia is expected to play a crucial role in promoting demand over the forecast period. The regional market is dominated by a handful of oil companies being synthetic lubricant manufacturers with extensive distribution networks.
Key players in this industry are ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical Company, Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Fuchs Petolub SE, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd., BP plc, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Chevron Corporation, Lubrizol Corporation and Pennzoil.
In September 2016, ExxonMobil Corporation expanded its operation in Jurong to produce synthetic lubricants including Mobil 1, company’s flagship synthetic engine oil. This investment reflected the industry’s push towards higher value-added manufacturing operations to meet growing demand for synthetic products in Asia-Pacific region.
Research Support Specialist, USA