Stringent norms emphasizing on carbon footprints reduction and fuel economy enhancements are fuelling the demand for high-quality environment-friendly lubricants. This trend is bringing about a change in the global base oils market and is leading to constantly evolving lubricants formulation processes, thus acting as an important driver for the market. Moreover, with the continuous increasing in the vehicle production volumes worldwide, the demand for finished lubricants and base oils is rising at a tremendous pace.
However, the plummeting prices of crude oil and the industry-wide shift towards heavy and sour crude oils are adversely affecting the market. According to a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global base oils market stood at 37,003.7 kilotons and is anticipated to rise at a CAGR of 1.4% from 2015 to 2020, reaching 39,614.7 kilotons by 2020.
Failure to Meet Emission Norms to Negatively Impact Demand for Group I Base Oils
Automotive oils will continue to be the leading application segment until 2020, accounting for 45% of the overall market volume. Demand for base oils in the automotive lubricants sector is highly influenced by the growth pace of the global automotive industry. While North America and Central and South America are expected to rise at a sluggish rate, Asia Pacific and Europe are highly attractive markets for automotive oils. These regions have witnessed tremendous sales of vehicles over the past few years and are likely to aggressively adopt the usage of high-quality base oils for lubricant formulation in the near future. The industrial oils segment is estimated to expand at a moderate CAGR of 1.5% in terms of volume during the forecast period owing to the increasing industrial activities worldwide.
On the basis of product, the global base oils market will be led by group I throughout the forecast period, representing 58.3% of the overall market volume in 2014. However, the group 1 segment is likely to witness a decline in the market shares owing to the fact that these oils are incapable of meeting stringent performance standards and emission norms. This is leading to a brisk substitution of these base oils by higher purity groups. Nevertheless, developing regions such as Asia Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa will continue to be large consumers of group I base oils throughout the forecast period.
Asia Pacific to Account for Lion’s Share Owing to Robust Growth of Industrial and Automotive Sector
Asia Pacific is anticipated to hold the leading share of the volume pie until 2020, accounting for 41.4% of the overall market. The booming automotive and industrial sector is leading to greater uptake of finished lubricants. While group I base oils are still predominantly used, large capacity additions of both Group II and Group III have been planned, which is likely to speed up the consumption of high-quality base oils in the region.
North America has a mature market for furnished lubricants and is poised to experience moderate growth during the forecast period. The emergence of the region as one of the leading producers of Group II base oils and the flourishing growth of the industrial and automotive sector in Mexico are augmenting the North America market for base oils. Central and South America is expected to represent 7.5% of the overall volume market by 2020. With sales of automobiles falling in the region, growth in consumption of finished lubricants is likely to be diminutive in the region.
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Some of the key players operating in the market are Royal Dutch Shell plc, Exxon Mobile Corporation, Chevron Corporation, and SK Lubricants Co. Ltd. Other market players profiled in this research report are Sinopec Group, British Petroleum plc, MOGoil GmbH, GS Caltex Corporation, Phillips 66 Company, PetroChina Company Limited, and S-Oil Corporation.