Lubricant Additive Consumption Increases in 2015

Noria news wires

Global lubricant additive consumption exhibited moderate growth in 2015, increasing by 1 percent over 2014, according to a recently published report by research and consulting firm Kline. This consumption is forecast to increase by 1.6 percent through 2019, with strong growth stemming from regions such as Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

The growth rate for lubricant additives was also higher than that for finished lubricants, varying significantly across function class. For instance, the focus on long-lasting engine oils, engine cleanliness and fuel economy resulted in an increase in the usage of dispersants, antioxidants and friction modifiers. Greater use of multigrade engine oils has also driven the usage of viscosity index improvers. In contrast, due to issues of compatibility with emission-control devices, the use of detergents and anti-wear additives has dampened.

Heavy-duty motor oil, passenger car motor oil and metalworking fluids are the top additive-consuming categories, accounting for three-fourths of total additive consumption.

Asia-Pacific is the leading region globally in finished lubricant consumption, with more than 40 percent of the total. North America is the second-largest lubricant consuming region at more than 20 percent of the total volume, while Europe accounted for approximately 17 percent of the total consumption.

Since 2010, the global lube additive market has grown by 1.8 percent per year due to lube demand growth and the transition to higher quality levels. Lube additive demand for metalworking fluids showed strong recovery in 2012-2014 following a decline in 2008-2012. Except for passenger car motor oil and metalworking fluids, demand growth has slowed. There was also a decline in demand in all product categories.

"The global lubricant additive market will grow in line with overall lube demand growth," said Milind Phadke, Kline's energy practice director. "In the automotive engine oil segment, penetration of new quality levels, the shift to light viscosity oils and extended drain intervals will drive changes in the type of additives used. In general, industrial oil formulation will be driven by the severity of operation, reduction in equipment size, extension of service intervals, the use of vegetable oils, and the displacement of Group I by Group II and Group III base stocks."

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