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World demand for lubricants to exceed 45 million t

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

World demand for lubricants is projected to rise 2.0% annually to 45.4 million t in 2019. The fastest gains are expected in the Asia/Pacific region, where an expanding number of motor vehicles in use and continued industrialisation in large countries such as China and India will support rising demand. Developing regions such as Central and South America and the Africa/Mideast region will also exhibit healthy gains in response to economic growth, rising manufacturing output, and increasing motor vehicle production and ownership rates. These and other trends are presented in World Lubricants, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc.

More mature markets, such as the US, Western Europe, and Japan, are expected to stay fairly flat, as the greater availability of premium lubricant products with longer drain intervals will restrain growth. Analyst Emily Park also noted, “Many of these developed countries enforce strict regulations on the use and disposal of lubricants, which will drive demand for nonconventional lubricants, such as more environmentally friendly bio-based lubricants and lubricants derived from re-refined base oils.”

As motor vehicles continue to account for the majority of lubricant demand, rising motor vehicle ownership rates in developing countries will support increasing demand for engine oils. However, these advances will be tempered by lengthening drain intervals that lead to slower growth in engine oil demand in the aftermarket.

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. Bio-based hydraulic and metalworking fluids will exhibit healthy gains as these products can be used to meet environmental and safety regulations.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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