The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio-based research firm, is projecting world lubricant demand to increase by 2.0% annually to 45.4 million metric tons in 2019. The fastest gains are expected in the Asia-Pacific region, where an expanding number of motor vehicles in use and continued industrialization in countries such as China and India will support rising demand for lubricants. Developing regions such as Central and South America and Africa/Middle East region are also expected to post healthy gain.
Lubricant demand in more mature markets, such as the United States, Western Europe and Japan, are expected to remain flat, as the greater availability of premium lubricants with extended drain intervals keep growth at bay.
“Many of these developed countries enforce strict regulations on the use and disposal of lubricants, which will drive demand for non-conventional lubricants, such as more environmentally friendly bio-based lubricants and lubricants derived from re-refined base oils,” said Analyst Emily Park.
Process oils are expected to be the fastest growing product category going forward, supported by gains in manufacturing output, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and other industrialising regions. Demand for hydraulic fluids, metalworking fluids, and other lubricants will also be positively impacted by improving economic conditions and rising manufacturing output in developing regions, although gains will be more limited than those seen in process oils.
These and other trends are presented in World Lubricants, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc.