Industrial oils and fluids dominate Indian lubricant consumption

Overall lubricant consumption in India was valued at approximately USD 2,762 million in 2009. Of this, industrial oils and fluids make up just over half of total consumption. Commercial automotive lubricants are the second most demanded category, followed by consumer automotive lubricants which make up the smallest part of the market, accounting for only 10% of total consumption.

 Lubricant consumption in India, 2009

Power generation and the chemical industry consume the bulk of India’s industrial lubricants. Process oils are the largest category in this segment, accounting for nearly 50% of the total market. Over the next few years, growth in consumption of industrial lubricants will be driven by growth in infrastructure investments, manufacturing, and manufacturing exports. Given the poor local infrastructure, the government is investing heavily in projects including roadways, rail and ports. Due to economic growth, growth in commercial and residential construction is also quite strong, further increasing demand. These factors should result in a 4.5% growth per year, helping the industrial lubricants segment reach 1,182 KT by 2014.

The commercial automotive lubricants market is trending towards higher quality products due to stringent emission limits, changes in fuel, and a need for longer life oils. There is still significant consumption of monogrades in India, however, this is declining. Despite strong growth in the vehicle population, HDMO consumption, which currently accounts for close to 61% of the total commercial lubricant demand, will grow only moderately over the next few years due to extensions in drain intervals, and the associated reduced need for top-ups.

With the local vehicle population dominated by two wheelers, which accounted for 76% of all vehicles in India in 2009, it is not surprising that motorcycle oils account for about 62% of all engine oils in the Indian consumer lubricants market. Rapid growth in the car and motorcycle population due to increasing prosperity will be the primary driver for growth of the market for consumer lubricants, which is projected to grow at 3.3% per year by 2014.

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