December 3, 2013
With total 2012 global lubricant demand estimated at 38.7 million metric tons, the market is effectively flat over 2011. Both North America and Western Europe continue to stagnate below prerecession levels; the Asian market also waned in 2012, with the most significant change being a net decline in demand in China.
According to the recently published “Global Lubricants: Market Analysis and Assessment” report by international consulting and research firm Kline & Co., Parsippany, N.J., the U.S. remains the largest lubricant market, but its estimated 22 percent global share continues to decrease. The Asia-Pacific region is the leading region in terms of volume, but the high-value markets remain predominantly Western Europe and the U.S.
Globally, Shell remains the market leader, claiming 12 percent total market share, down slightly from 13 percent in 2011. ExxonMobil and BP follow with 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
While Shell is expected to remain among the market leaders in the immediate future, it is the middle pack — regional majors and NOCs — that are anticipated to see the most changes, with companies like Fuchs and Gazprom expected to claim some market share from the top five leaders. In 2012, for example, Fuchs finds itself within the global top 10 for the first time.