MRO Magazine

World lubricant demand rising 2.3% annually

Cleveland, OH -- World demand for lubricants is forecast to advance 2.3% per year to 41.8 million metric tons in 20...


August 28, 2007
By MRO Magazine

Cleveland, OH — World demand for lubricants is forecast to advance 2.3% per year to 41.8 million metric tons in 2010.

Gains for automotive lubricants will be driven by increasing motor vehicle ownership worldwide, as well as a rising number of kilometres travelled per vehicle.

Additionally, growth in worldwide manufacturing activity will boost the demand for industrial lubricants such as process oils and hydraulic fluids.

However, the prevailing global trend is toward reducing lubricant consumption, both for environmental reasons as well as cost-effectiveness purposes. These and other trends are presented in World Lubricants, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.


Among major world regions, lubricant demand in the Asia/Pacific region is expected to grow at the fastest pace, with the market in China leading overall gains. The region is characterized by rapid expansions in manufacturing activity and the motor vehicle park, both of which bode well for lubricant consumption.

Minimal advances in the highly mature Japanese lubricant industry will limit overall gains for the region.

rowth in demand for lubricants in the more developed markets of North America and Western Europe will be well below the global average, due to slower economic growth and an increased emphasis on extended drain intervals for lubricants.

Other world regions, including Latin America and the Africa/Mideast region, will see generally favourable gains, a result of increased manufacturing output and rising motor vehicle utilization. However, demand in Eastern Europe will grow at a subpar rate, restrained by the adoption of West European trends toward higher-quality products and reduced lubricant volume.

Although engine oils will continue to comprise nearly half of all lubricant demand, fastest growth is expected for process oils, which are often consumed during processing and are thus not as vulnerable to trends toward reducing lubricant consumption.

Gains for hydraulic fluids will also exceed the global average for lubricants, fuelled by growing mining activity and oil and gas production, as well as increasing mechanization of agriculture and construction industries in developing nations.

World Lubricants (published 04/2007, 397 pages) is available for US$5,400 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, visit