Paul Thomen

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Lubricants Industry 2017 Developing Markets Expected to Lead Future Demand Growth

Matured Developed Lubricant Markets Move into Decline, Promising Outlook for Developing Markets

In recent years, debt has meant that developed US and European economies have moved into decline, while there is a promising outlook for the lubricants market in emerging economies in the regions of Asia-Pacific and Middle East and Africa in coming years. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the largest share of global lubricants demand with 42% of the overall lubricants market in 2012. By 2017, with the exception of Europe and North America, all regions are expected to increase their global share, with the Asia-Pacific region expected to account for 46%, while the Middle East and Africa and South and Central America are expected to account for respective shares of 11.6% and 8.9% of the global lubricants market. Europe and North America are expected to account for 16.7% of global lubricants demand each by 2017.

Asia-Pacific is Largest and Fastest Growing Regional Lubricants Market

The Asia-Pacific region is the largest and fastest growing regional lubricants market worldwide. The region accounted for a share of almost 42% of the global lubricants market in 2012. Asia-Pacific is expected to register the highest growth of any region worldwide, to reach 17 million tons by 2017. Other regions such as Middle East and Africa and South and Central America are also expected to contribute substantially to the growth of the global lubricants market by 2017. Increasing consumption in emerging economies such as China and India is no surprise to the industry. Foreign lubricant marketers, base stock manufacturers and additive suppliers are establishing their operations in these countries, encouraged by the steady growth rate.

Rebound of Motor Vehicle Market Provides Welcome Boost for Lubricants Industry

Motor vehicles are one of the largest markets for lubricants. In 2012, motor vehicles accounted for almost 56% of global lubricants demand. The global automotive industry is now on the growth path after a setback caused by the financial crisis. Global motor vehicle sales, which dipped in 2008 and 2009 due to the economic crisis, re-gained momentum in 2009. The industry is now actively pursuing innovative new technologies, production and business techniques.

According to the International Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), the total number of global vehicle sales amounted to 81.7 million units in 2012, increasing by approximately 5% over the previous year (OICA, 2013). Improvement in global vehicle sales figures can be identified in every region, with the exception of Western Europe. Asia has recovered well compared to the West, which is reflected in the growing automobile sales numbers in the region. Within Asia, Thailand registered strong growth, when vehicle output increased by 70.3% over the previous year to reach 2.5 million units in 2012. Production activity also increased in the North American market. With global vehicle production and sales activity slowly gaining momentum, it is expected that this will provide a welcome boost to the global lubricants industry in coming years.

Shell Remains the Lubricant Market Leader for the Year 2012

Shell Lubricants retained its position as the leading lubricants supplier globally in 2012. The company accounts for around 13% of the global market in terms of finished lubricant sales in 2012. The company manufactures and manages a wide range of products for automotive and industrial applications. Shell’s global presence, strong Research & Development (R&D) activities, strategic investments in blending plants, and relationship with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have all contributed to the company’s leadership in the lubricants market.In the recent past, Shell announced a number of strategic investment plans. Shell continues to invest in technology and partnerships that support new product development and maximize fuel efficiency, thereby benefiting customers.

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