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World lubricant demand will increase 1.6 percent per year to 40.5 million metric tons in 2012. Although growth will be modest in volume terms, value gains will be more substantial as more expensive high performance lubricants are substituted for lower value ones. Advances will be the strongest in the developing Asian countries due to ongoing rapid industrialization as well as rising car ownership rates, particularly in China. These trends will also favor growth in the Africa/Mideast region and Latin America. In contrast, greater availability of high performance lubricants, increased global competition and increasingly stringent environmental regulations will restrain advances or contribute to negative growth in lubricant demand in the more developed countries of Western Europe, the United States and Canada, as well as in the European Union member countries of Eastern Europe and in Japan. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in World Lubricants, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
The more developed countries of North America and Western Europe, as well as the European Union member countries in Eastern Europe and Japan, will experience reduced or negative growth in lubricant demand due to greater availability of high performance lubricants, increased global competition and increasingly stringent environmental regulations.
Despite the downturn in the global motor vehicle market in late 2008 and early 2009, motor vehicle lubricant demand will continue to expand throughout the forecast period once an economic recovery begins to take hold. Increases in lubricant demand will be led by strong gains in the Asia/Pacific region due to rapid expansion of the motor vehicle park in developing countries such as China and India.
While the fastest growth will be in manufacturing and other markets, it will still represent a slowdown from the 2002 to 2007 time period as the global economic slowdown of 2008 and 2009 restrains upward advances in lubricant demand through 2012. The Asia/Pacific region, led by China, will continue to be the primary driver of growth in these markets due to companies worldwide pursuing the region’s key advantages of relatively low labor costs and political stability. Latin America and the Africa/Mideast region will also achieve favorable growth in manufacturing as significant countries in both regions continue their industrial development.
The Freedonia Group is a leading international business research company, founded in 1985, that publishes more than 100 industry research studies annually. This industry analysis provides an unbiased outlook and a reliable assessment of an industry and includes product segmentation and demand forecasts, industry trends, demand history, threats and opportunities, competitive strategies, market share determinations and company profiles.