Global Synthetic Lubricant Basestocks 2022 Market Update

Global Synthetic Lubricant Basestocks 2022 Market Update

Base Year: 2022
Published: June 2023
Regional Coverage: Africa and the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, South America

A quick snapshot view of the global synthetic basestocks market and demand evolution over the next five years. The transition toward a sustainable future entails a swifter move toward the use of synthetic lubricants, which creates a faster demand for synthetic basestocks. Moreover, growing demand in terms of performance requirements favors the use of synthetic basestocks.


  • Global synthetic and semi-synthetic lubricant demand penetration:
    • - By segment
    • - By product
    • - By viscosity grade
  • Synthetic basestock demand analysis at a global level and by key regions, covering Africa and the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and South America
  • Covers synthetic basestocks such as Group III/III+, polyalphaolefin (PAO), polyalkylene glycol (PAG), synthetic ester, phosphate ester, polyisobutylene (PIB), and alkylated aromatics
  • Global demand evolution of synthetic and semi-synthetic lubricants, and resultant demand for synthetic basestocks


Table of Contents


Finished Lubricants Demand

This section will discuss the penetration of synthetic and semisynthetic lubricants in various lubricant products. It will also provide a five-year growth outlook for various lubricants (synthetic and semi-synthetics).


The general product overview and its characteristics for polyalphaolefins (PAO) will be analyzed, along with the global capacity for high- and low-vis PAO, current PAO pricing, PAO supply evolution over the next five years, and profiles for the leading suppliers of PAO.

Group III/III+

This report will discuss the general product overview and its characteristics, global capacity for Group III and III+ basestocks, current Group III/III+ pricing, and Group III/III+ supply evolution over the next five years. The study will profile the leading suppliers of Group III/III+ basestocks.

The PAO demand model will provide a detailed look at the PAO demand evolution for the next 20-year period.

Finished lubricant demand (2022 to 2042):

  • - By region
  • - By segment
  • - By Product and viscosity grades

PAO demand outlook (2022 to 2042):

  • - By region
  • - By segment
  • - By PAO type (mPAO vs. conventional PAO)
  • - By viscosity grade

PAO supply:

  • - Current and planned PAO capacity additions
  • - By PAO type
  • - By viscosity grades (low viscosity vs. high viscosity)

The deliverable for this section will include only an Excel-based demand model.


Synthetic Basestocks Demand

This section will examine the demand for various synthetic basestocks—PAO, Group III/III+, polyalkylene glycol (PAG), synthetic esters, phosphate esters, and polyisobutenes, among others—in various regions and end-use applications. It will also discuss various
trends that may affect the demand for such synthetic basestocks over the next five years.

Report Benefits

Subscribers to the study will receive an in-depth understanding of the current status of the basestocks industry in terms of basestock supply, basestock application space and demand, lubricant formulation trends, basestock pricing mechanism, inter-region trade, inter-material competition, and manufacturing costs.

  • Subscribers will receive supply demand models for each trade region, which are an invaluable tool for conducting “what-if” analyses based on different assumptions on formulations, viscosity grades and shifts, and overall lubricants demand growth.
  • The study is a useful tool for sales, marketing, finance, technology, and strategy personnel to quickly learn the fundamentals of the basestock business, understand lubricant basestock requirements of the leading end-use markets, and make business decisions.

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PAO Market Outlook in the Age of Electrification

PAO Market Outlook in the Age of Electrification: ​Global Market Analysis and Opportunities​

Base Year: 2020
On Client Request
Regional Coverage: Global

The electric vehicle (EV) market is currently small but growing quitebriskly. The EV market will have an impact on the demand for engine oils since battery EVs (BEVs) do not use engine oils. This presents a growing threat to basestocks, including mineral-based and Group IV (or PAO) used to blend engine oils. This report analyzes how demand for PAOs will be impacted over the next 20 years, given the growing role of EVs. The report also discusses the growing opportunities for PAOs in alternate applications created by the proliferation of EVs.

Table of Contents


Various megatrends impacting finished lubricant demand

  • Electric mobility
  • Ride sharing
  • Sustainability and green hydrogen
  • PCMO formulation outlook
    Drivers of engine oil viscosity shifts
    Supply of Group III/III+ basestocks and PAO

    PAO demand: Current and outlook
    Supply and availability of different substitutes, their technical performance and pricing vis-à-vis brightstocks

    • By region
    • By application
    • By viscosity grade

    Emerging applications of PAOs in electric vehicles

    • Key properties of electric fluids and comparison of PAO vis-àvis other competing products
    • Current status of electric vehicle fluid market and outlook

    Report Benefits

    This report serves as an excellent resource for lubricant basestock marketers, additive
    companies, and lubricant blenders. Specifically, this report assists subscribers by:

    • Developing an understanding of drivers and barriers for electrification and the likely penetration of EVs
    • Providing the impact analysis of electrification on global engine oil demand and the resultant impact on PAO.
    • Presenting the outlook for PAO in context of reducing demand from engine oils and potential demand for application in EV fluids

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    Global Naphthenic Basestocks Market at a Crossroads

    Global Naphthenic Basestocks Market at a Crossroads

    Naphthenic basestocks: A vital blending component for several industrial lubricants

    Naphthenic basestocks, classified under the American Petroleum Institute’s (API’s) Group V category, have remained a niche, yet important, basestocks category. Per a recently completed market study by Kline – Global Lubricant Basestocks: Market Analysis and Opportunities – naphthenic basestocks represented around 10% of the global demand in 2019. This market share has remained at an almost constant level over the past decade.

    Naphthenic basestocks offer certain advantages including their wide range of viscosities and high additive solubility. This has helped them establish their own demand in industrial lubricants. However, owing to their low viscosity index (VI), naphthenic basestocks are rarely used in automobile applications, aside from greases.

    Per Kline’s analysis, the top applications for naphthenic basestocks include rubber process oil (RPO), metalworking fluid (MWF), electrical insulation oil (EIO), and greases. Besides these, naphthenic basestocks can be used in a host of general industrial oil (GIO) applications where VI is not a key consideration. They can also be used in applications like printing inks, spray oils, adhesive and sealants, and explosives, among others.

    As stated above, naphthenic basestocks are commercially available in a wide range of viscosities; they range from 35 SUS to as high as 5,000 SUS, providing them with an edge over basestocks that have a limited viscosity range. Furthermore, their high solubility makes them a preferred basestock in applications like MWF and greases, where additive solubility is critical. In EIO applications, naphthenic basestocks are mainly preferred for their good low-temperature performance compared to paraffinic basestocks. In RPO applications, they are preferred due to their non-carcinogenic nature.

    Bearing the brunt of COVID-19

    Some of the key applications of naphthenic basestocks, including metalworking fluids and rubber process oils, have been badly impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Automobile production across the world has declined considerably, reducing the demand for MWF, which is one of the key application segments for naphthenic basestocks. Demand for RPO has also declined sharply, as tire sales are down due to the poor automobile sales. Further, naphthenic basestocks are additionally used in processing elastomers, which are widely used in automobiles.

    On the other hand, demand for naphthenic basestocks in EIO applications was relatively insulated, providing a cushion to help contain the shock of the decreased demand. Per Kline’s estimates, the global naphthenic basestock market may register a decline of around 10%-15% in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Potential market opportunities

    Naphthenic basestocks are being considered favorably as a substitute for Group I basestocks, which have dwindled in supply over the past decade. As Group I basestocks continually become obsolete for use in automotive engine oil applications and compete against Group II and III basestocks, a dip in demand has forced a lot of capacity to shut down. This created Group I availability issues for applications where Group II and III basestocks were not technically suitable, despite having surplus availability. This void can be easily bridged by naphthenic basestocks.

    Globally, the challenges for Group I plants have not subsided. Rather, they face more obstacles than ever, magnified by new developments like IMO 2020 regulations. The COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 sent global lubricant demand southwards, severely impacting operations of Group I basestocks, which had already been operating at their historically lowest average rates globally. Thus, this demand erosion has resulted in even greater challenges for Group I plants. It is anticipated that the pace of Group I capacity rationalization will accelerate in the future, especially if Group II/II+ capacity additions continue unabated across the world.

    Naphthenic basestocks can also be used in formulation with Group II basestocks to mimic Group I basestock properties. This solution, although still in its nascent stage, can greatly solve the issues arising from a Group I short supply in the future. However, this solution will be more palatable to blenders only if it does not require a high cost of reformulation and there is an imminent Group I supply disruption.

    Facing challenges of its own

    Over the past several years, naphthenic basestocks have cemented their position in several lubricant formulations as a key substitute to Group I basestocks, which, again, have been facing dwindling supplies. Per Kline estimates, the global supply for naphthenic basestocks stood at 3.6 million tonnes compared with a total capacity of around 5.8 million tonnes. This indicates that the global naphthenic basestocks capacity remains underutilized, at just over 60% of average operating rates. Thus, the naphthenic basestocks market has sizeable bandwidth to cater to new demand growth.

    Global Naphthenic Basestock Capacity by Region, 2019

    While opportunities for naphthenic basestocks exist in the market, naphthenics face several challenges of their own, with one of them being the limited availability of naphthenic crude, which limits geographic spread of naphthenic basestocks production. The bulk of the naphthenic basestock production is centered in a handful of countries, including the United States, China, Japan, Sweden, Germany, and Brazil. Venezuela also has some capacity to produce basestocks, but its lone plant has remained non-operational for a few years now. Therefore, naphthenic basestocks do not have a wide geographic production base. Moreover, only a handful of North American and European producers actively participate in the export markets. Much of the production from China and Japan is consumed within these countries. The smaller number of supply options does not sit favorably with blenders, who would like to ensure continuity in availability and plan for unforeseen exigencies and outages in supply.

    One major factor recently impacting the naphthenic basestocks market was the restrictions faced by Nynas owing to Venezuela Sanctions Regulations by the United States government. Petrόleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) had a majority stake in Nynas, resulting in Nynas falling under the purview of these sanctions. This created not only crude availability issues for Nynas, which operates two naphthenic plants in Europe, with a total production capacity of 730-740 kilotonnes per year, but also banking issues, which came bundled with the sanctions. To escape the sanctions, Nynas restructured its ownership by reducing PDVSA’s share to around 15% from the previous 50%. In addition, Nynas has completely switched away from Venezuelan crude as they increased share of other sources in their crude oil mix. This development, involving normalization of operations, is positive for the naphthenic market, as the supply availability prospects are strengthened. During the period of sanctions, several lubricant blenders who used naphthenic basestocks started becoming wary of the looming uncertainty.

    Earlier last year, LyondellBasell shut its naphthenic plant in the United States following the expiration of its sales contract with Calumet. The plant had a capacity to produce around 180 kilotonnes per year of naphthenic basestocks. Petrobras, which operates a naphthenic plant in Lubnor, Brazil, with a capacity of 65-70 kilotonnes per year, had been considering selling this refinery as part of its divestment plan. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic could delay these plans.

    The road ahead

    It is widely expected that the global finished lubricant market, after registering a sharp decline in demand in 2020, will gradually inch toward recovery. In fact, the trough created due to lockdowns across the world is well past and the markets have already begun their recovery, though it may take some time before the market demand normalizes to reach pre-COVID-19 levels. Furthermore, the market is replete with uncertainties that may impact the road to recovery. Nonetheless, the long-term market prospects for naphthenic basestocks are stable owing to the anticipated vacuum created by Group I supply reduction and the recovery in finished lubricant demand.

    Some applications that are in nascent stages are also being looked upon as potential new growth segments for naphthenic basestocks. One such application is in the production of battery separators. This application specifically holds the key, given the growing thrust on adoption of electric vehicles across the world.

    One of the most critical factors for growth in naphthenic basestocks going forward will be the assurance of a continuous supply. To ensure continued growth, naphthenic basestock suppliers will need to make sure that blenders remain confident about this aspect.

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    Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Lubricant Basestocks Market

    Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Lubricant Basestocks Market

    impact of Covid 19 on basestocks market

    The significant drop in lubricant demand expected in the first half of 2020 and the prospect of a prolonged and weak recovery—all due to the COVID-19 pandemic—has the potential to profoundly transform the basestocks industry.

    For a decade, lubricant basestock supply has been characterized by significant surplus capacity. Static basestock demand, and the continuing addition of new capacity, translated into lower capacity utilization and a decline in profitability. Simply put, the basestock industry was in financial difficulty even before 2020. Now, while the COVID-19 pandemic and concurrent drop in crude oil prices has created more short-term pain, it may force some sanity into the industry in the long term.

    A sharp decline in basestocks demand

    Overall lubricant basestock demand is closely tied to finished lubricant demand, as lubricants account for more than 90% of the basestocks market. At the time of this writing, Kline estimates that global finished lubricant demand could decline by 15% to 30% in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment efforts. (See The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Lubricants Industry.) As a result, overall lubricant basestocks demand is likely to see a similar drop in consumption, though the impact on different API Groups will be different.

    With restrictions on people’s movement in lockdown situations, consumer automotive lubricants will be impacted immediately. However, in the event of prolonged lockdowns, significant reductions in demand will be experienced by commercial and industrial lubricant markets as well.

    A contraction in the consumer lubricants market is having an immediate impact on demand for Group III/III+ basestocks, especially in markets with higher penetration of high-quality passenger car motor oils (PCMO). For example, the United States and much of Western Europe have lockdown conditions affecting personal mobility and hence PCMO demand. Both regions have a high share of high-quality PCMO blended with Group III/III+ and PAO. Therefore, these basestocks will see the most significant drop in demand. In contrast, due to the typical formulations used in the Asia-Pacific region and in the rest of world, the impact of reducing PCMO demand will be experienced by Group II/II+ and Group I basestocks in these regions.

    Since Group II/II+ basestocks are the leading materials used to formulate heavy-duty motor oil (HDMO), a declining commercial segment will have the biggest impact on these basestocks. Of course, there will be regional variations, with North America and Asia-Pacific witnessing much higher declines in Group II/II+ in contrast to other regions that have relatively higher shares of Group I in HDMO formulations.

    Demand for other automotive products including gear oils and automatic transmission fluids (ATF) is more dependent on factory-fill (driven by automotive production) than service-fill (driven by automotive population). Amid severe lockdown conditions, during which automobile prduction is halted, demand for these products is impacted more severely than engine oils. Decline in demand for ATFs will primarily impact demand for Group III/III+ and PAOs as these basestocks are used to blend fill-for-life ATF products.

    A decline in demand for industrial products will see the biggest decline in demand for Group I basestocks since Group I accounts for the majority share in the formulation of industrial lubricants on a global basis. A decline in demand for industrial products will also result in demand loss for naphthenics.

    Overall, the basestocks market could lose between 5.0 to 10.0 million tonnes of demand in 2020. Group I basestocks will account the most to this loss in demand (1.7 million to 3.6 million tonnes), followed very closely by Group II/II+ (1.7 million to 3.4 million tonnes), together accounting for at least two-thirds of the global basestock demand loss in 2020. The loss in Group III/III+ is expected to be around 0.7 million to 1.4 million tonnes, while the balance would be accounted for by Group IV and Group V (including naphthenic) basestocks.

    Estimated Decline in Global Lubricant Basestocks Demand Due to Covid-19 Containment Efforts, 2020

    impact of Covid 19 on basestocks market

    Impact on basestock supply

    The outbreak of COVID-19 can potentially reduce basestock supply in several ways:

    • Basestock producers adjust their supply to match the declining basestock demand. This can either happen in the form of reduced run rates for basestock plants or the temporary/permanent shutdown of operations.
    • Some basestock producers may use this time to do a maintenance turnaround.
    • Crude oil refineries will run at a lower rates as demand for fuel will decline. This invariably will result in constrained availability of feedstocks to run basestock units.

    In response to a decline in demand of 5.0 million to 10.0 million tonnes, there will clearly have to be an impact on basestock supply. From preliminary estimates, the global basestock production in 2019 was around 40 million tonnes, representing an average effective operating rate of approximately 77%-78% (calculated as a fraction of effective capacity after taking into account planned and unplanned outages). If the basestock availability were to drop by 5 million tonnes to match the reduction in demand, the global average operating rate would be reduced to under 70%. Clearly, basestock margins will suffer tremendously at such a steep reduction in operating rates. Therefore, it is anticipated that to adjust basestock availability, both effective capacity and average operating rates will have to drop.

    Impact of Covid-19 on Global Basestock Supply under No Change in Capacity, 2020

    Impact of Covid-19 on Global Basestock Supply under No Change in Capacity, 2020

    Such changes in basestock supply can potentially alter the basestock landscape permanently. For instance, basestock supply disruption in Europe will reduce Group I availability, motivating blenders in Europe and AME to search for alternatives most likely, Group II. Such formulation shifts are permanent because of the cost associated with the shift.  

    An inevitable fallout of the current turmoil will be the deferring or shelving of planned basestock capacities. Such plans have been impacted by double whammy of plummeting basestock demand and unfavorable economics arising because of the decline in crude oil prices. In many instances, basestock addition/expansion was a part of the overall refinery expansion plans. In low crude oil prices scenario, several of these plans may have been rendered economically unviable. Any plan which hasn’t yet moved to the construction phase is likely to be re-evaluated. Around 3.5 million to 4.0 million tonnes of new basestock capacity was planned to be added globally over the next five yearsOf this, more than half is in the planning stage. Thus, at least 2.0 million to 2.5 million tonnes of new capacity plans may be deferred or canceled 


    A sharp decline in basestock demand is expected due to COVID-19. The actual magnitude of this decline will depend on the length and severity of the lockdown. While the decline in demand will be first borne by Group III/III+, owing to its higher usage of PCMO products, in the longer lockdown situation, Group I demand will suffer the most; it will be closely followed by Group II. This decline in demand will be accompanied by a decline in availability of basestocks. The supply disruptions could significantly alter trade positions for various regions, and blenders in some regions could face availability issues. This could potentially alter blending preferences and approaches followed in these regions as well. Because of the global supply-demand situation, much of the new planned capacity plans could be put on hold until the market environment improves. Further, the current market situation will result in some of the excess basestocks capacity being retired.  

    Anuj Kumar is a project manager for Kline’s Global Lubricant Basestocks study, scheduled to be published in July 2020. Request more info.

    [pardot-form id="15031" title="ACTION REQUIRED Energy COVID-19 Impact on Lube Markets INQUIRY"]

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    Capacity Removal Could Ease Basestock Margin Squeeze

    Capacity Removal to Ease Basestock Margin Squeeze

    basestocks market and capacityA flat finished lubricant market, significant basestock capacity additions, and a pause in capacity shutdowns are the key factors that have been driving down margins for basestock suppliers.  In such an overcrowded market, Kline Group’s Anuj Kumar looks at one industry event that might offer some respite.

    The shipping, refining, and other related industries have been assessing the challenges, opportunities, and cost implications associated with the upcoming International Maritime Organization’s cut in sulphur emissions (IMO 2020).  But could the knock-on effects of this regulation be a plus for basestock suppliers, who are operating in a very tough marketplace?

    Certainly, the basestock industry has been under pressure, as production capacities have continued to increase at a time when demand growth from its largest customer–the finished lubricants market–has slowed. By far, the largest share of global demand in the lubricant market comes from the automotive sector. However, in 2018, for the first time in a decade, global automotive production saw a slight decline. This trend is expected to continue, given the uncertain macro-economic environment and as growing social pressure to reduce carbon emissions spurs ridesharing and the uptake of electric vehicles.

    With these market drivers in mind, it is expected that lubricant demand will continue to be essentially flat, projected to grow at just 0.4% CAGR on a global basis for the period 2018-2028. This significant reduction in the growth forecast will impact the outlook for all API basestock categories. In 2018, global finished lubricant demand reached 40.5 million tonnes, and the consequent demand for basestocks was 36.5 million tonnes.1

    Global Lubricant Basestock Demand for all Lubricants, 2018
    Global Lubricant Basestock Demand for all Lubricants, 2018
    a- Group III / III+ used in other applications.
    b- Group III / III+ used to blend synthetic and semi-synthetic lubricants. NOTE: Group III basestocks with VI of 130 and higher classified as Group III+.

    1 Excluding demand arising from non-lubricant applications such as drilling fluids, solvents, fuel blending, among others.

    Unbalanced market

    However, with a global effective basestock capacity sitting at more than 49 million tonnes, the market has remained in surplus capacity. And, in the past year, there have been significant capacity additions along with a slowdown in the removal of capacity via Group I shutdowns. This has resulted in lower average operating rates, which makes it hard to recover costs.  While basestock prices in 2018 were generally higher than those in 2017, margins remained under pressure throughout the year.

    Global Lubricant Basestock
    Effective Capacity by API Groups, 2018
    Global Lubricant Basestock Effective Capacity by API Groups, 2018
    Global Average Operating Rates-a by API Groups, 2018
    Global Average Operating Rates by API Groups, 2018
    NOTE:  Excludes Group V.
    Group III basestocks with VI of 130 and higher classified as Group III+. 
    a-Operating rate calculated as total production in a calendar year as a fraction of the effective capacity.
    2 Effective capacity: total amount of basestocks a plant can produce in a year when it is available for production. It excludes the portion of the year when a plant is down either for planned (e.g. maintenance turnarounds) or unforeseen circumstances.

    At a global level, the supply of Group I, II, and II+ all exceed demand, while Group III, III+, and naphthenic are generally in balance.

    Looking ahead 10 years, while not much increase in demand is expected, there is a strong pipeline of new plants and additional basestock capacity on the way. Currently available public announcements suggest that 5 to 5.5 million tonnes of incremental capacity, mostly Group II /II+, will be added. This does not bode well for a market where demand is forecast to grow at a paltry 0.4% CAGR. This mismatch between the rate of growth for capacity and demand casts an unfavorable scenario for basestock producers. In a scenario where the basestock market is plagued with a flat demand outlook in the wake of consistent capacity additions, the only way margins could be restored is by commensurate capacity retirals. Forecasting how much, when, and where these capacity retirements would happen is an extremely difficult task. However, it is anticipated that IMO 2020 will bring some relief.

    Improved margins ahead?

    The IMO 2020 regulation, which comes into force on January 1, 2020, cuts global sulphur limits for fuels used onboard seagoing ships from 3.5% to 0.5% (weight/weight). This has wide-reaching investment implications for vessel operators and the world’s marine fuel producers.  While IMO 2020 may have several direct and indirect implications on the basestocks market, one such fallout could actually prove to be a blessing in disguise, as it may help to improve basestock margins.

    It is highly likely that most shippers will choose to comply with IMO 2020 by burning low sulphur fuels rather than installing exhaust gas scrubbers. As a result, demand for high sulphur fuels is expected to decline. This scenario means refineries with heavy equity in high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) production may struggle to find an alternate market for their products. Those that cannot invest in the upgrades required to produce low sulphur fuel oil may be under threat. And, if the refinery also produces basestocks, capacity shut down here could also be expected. Currently, it is difficult to forecast just how much capacity would be rationalized, and from where. However, in our view, Group I producers in Europe appear to be the most vulnerable.

    In addition, as demand patterns change, the price difference between low sulphur distillates and gasoil vs. HFSO will widen.  It is likely that those refineries with surplus hydrocracking capacity will choose to divert vacuum gas oil from basestock to distillate production.  This action would again help to ease basestock overcapacity.

    There is still much uncertainty ahead for Group I, II and II+ producers.  However, the changes arising from IMO 2020 could help them to partially move toward equilibrium in the mid- to long-term. That said, the market could be expected to face considerable inter-API Group competition as blenders explore options to optimize their costs and explore new market positioning strategies.

    The global basestocks market will continue to face challenges, but perhaps there is a glimmer of hope in 2020 as the impacts of the IMO regulations on all the industry stakeholders become clear.

    New report on global basestocks

    Kline has been publishing the Global Basestocks Market: Analysis and Opportunities study for over a decade, and the latest report includes a market appraisal to 2028. The report provides a comprehensive supply and demand analysis for different API Groups at a global level and by key regions, manufacturing cost estimates, and market profiles of nine countries including the United States, Russia, and China are also included.

    In addition, readers will gain an analysis of current pricing levels and price forecasts, based on a robust model, for Group I, II/II+ and III in Northwest Europe, U.S. Gulf Coast, and Northeast Asia.

    Read more about the study, or to reserve your copy, please visit our website.


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    Global Synthetic Lubricant Basestocks: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Global Synthetic Lubricant Basestocks: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Base Year: 2021
    Published: Q4 2022
    Regional Coverage: Africa and the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, South America

    A comprehensive analysis of the fast-growing synthetic basestocks market, the report highlights growth opportunities for basestock marketers in a flat to declining market for finished lubricants and growing focus on sustainability. As demand for synthetic lubricants grows, new opportunities arise for synthetic basestock marketers. The study takes into account the impact of growing electric vehicle penetration, recovery from COVID-19, and the growing role of sustainability.​


    • Global synthetic lubricant demand and trends
    • Global synthetic basestocks demand by region, lubricant application, and viscosity grades in the case of automotive engine oils
    • Comparison of leading basestock types
    • Formulation and substitution trends and inter-material competition
    • Synthetic basestock demand outlook
    • Profiles of leading suppliers

    Includes an Excel-based demand model

    Report Contents


    Executive Summary

    An overview of key findings

    Global Finished Lubricant Market

    • Finished lubricant demand by product and region
    • Penetration of synthetic and semi-synthetic lubricants
    • Product performance trends
    • Demand outlook

    Global Synthetic Lubricant Basestock Market

    • Comparison of different synthetic basestocks
    • Application by basestock type
    • Pricing
    • Demand by basestock type and application
    • Inter-material competition
    • Demand outlook

    Synthetic Basestock Profiles
    Detailed profiles of synthetic basestocks (listed in Table 1) are provided, including the following information:

    • Product overview
    • Supply
    • Pricing
    • Consumption
    • Demand trends
    • Demand outlook

    Supplier Profiles
    Detailed profiles of leading synthetic basestocks suppliers (listed in Table 2) are provided, including the following information:

    • Company background
    • Overview of synthetic basestocks business
    • Product portfolio/manufacturing
    • Appraisal


    Polyalphaolefins​​ Group III/III+​​
    Synthetic esters​​​​​ Polyalkylene glycol​​​​​
    Polyisobutylene​​​​ Phosphate esters​​​​
    ​Alkylated aromatics​​​​


    BASF​​​ Chevron Phillips​​​ Clariant​
    Croda​​​​​​ Daihachi​​​​​​ Dow ​​​​​​
    ExxonMobil​​​​​ Huntsman​​​​​ ICL​​​​​
    ​Idemitsu​ INEOS​ Yingkou Zinghou​​
    Lanxess​​​​​​ Lu’an​​​​​​ Lubrizol​​​​​​
    NACO​​​​​​ Nanjing Well​​​​​​ NOF​​​​​​
    NYCO​​​​​​ Oleon​​​​​​ CNPC Lanzhou​​​​​​
    Youme​​​​​​ ​​​​​ ​​​​​

    Report Benefits

    This report assists industry participants in identifying business opportunities within the global synthetic lubricant basestocks industry. It also serves as an invaluable tool in the strategic planning process. Specifically, the report helps subscribers to:

    • Develop pricing and market entry strategies
    • Maximize returns along the value chain
    • Perform competitive intelligence assessments
    • Identify new applications and business development opportunities
    • Develop strategic plans
    • Focus product/service offerings and target markets

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    Price Anchor

    Lubricant Basestocks Merchant Supplier Assessment

    How Basestock Suppliers Can Profit in a Buyer’s Market – Kline’s study will show how basestock suppliers perform against customers’ selection criteria

    Kline’s study will show how basestock suppliers perform against customers’ selection criteria

    Lubricant Basestocks Merchant Supplier Assessment In an overcrowded global basestock market, Kline’s Anuj Kumar explains why producers and merchants need to understand the wide-ranging factors that drive customers' buying decisions to ensure they make the final cut in the supplier selection process.

    Gone are the days when a basestock supplier could manufacture a product meeting a certain API classification and expect to sell it based on its quality alone. The market is changing dramatically—not only in terms of quality expectations but also in the way it expects to be supplied, which is creating a new set of challenges for marketers.

    Basestock producers are having a tough time as massive capacity additions, predominantly, of Group II and Group III products come on stream right across the globe in an era of relatively flat lubricant demand. Kline forecasts an average annual finished lubricant demand growth rate of only around 0.5% over the next 10 years, while more than 5 million tonnes of new basestock capacity has been announced and is expected to come on stream by 2028.

    Not only does the industry have this overcapacity as a backdrop, but there is also a continued growth of merchant basestock supply at the expense of in-house production, which is intensifying competition. This makes it increasingly important for today’s suppliers to understand customers’ purchasing criteria and the decision-making process they apply to select suppliers and products.

    Huge capacity additions

    Taking a closer look at the major capacity additions, China had brought around 2.1 million metric tonnes of new basestock capacity on stream by the end of 2018, which was primarily accounted for by independent basestock producers. Around 1.8-1.9 million metric tonnes of Group II/III/III+ capacity is on the way in China over the next few years, all of which will be destined for the merchant market. It looks likely that the nation’s capacity will exceed 8 million metric tonnes/yeara by the end of 2019. This would put it just short of the United States, which is the global leader, producing more than 10.7 million tonnes/yearb of paraffinic basestock capacity.
    a: excluding naphthenic basestocks and re-refined oil; b: excluding re-refined oils

    In Europe, once a big importer of Group II, the new ~1 million tonnes/year Group II capacity from ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam plant, which came on stream in February 2019, looks set to change market dynamics. The organization has also recently announced the completion of an expansion in Singapore and, although the project’s size is unclear, it will begin to supply customers with Group II products in Q3 2019. In addition, a final investment decision has been made to proceed with a further multi-billion dollar expansion of its refining facilities in Singapore, which will add around 1 million metric tonnes of Group II, with startup anticipated in 2023.

    New capacities have also started up in regions— the Middle East, for example—which formerly had a minor share in the global basestock supply.

    It’s not that disconnects between basestock capacity and demand are unusual. Each region produces less of some grades and more of others than it needs, which is why the global basestock industry has a healthy inter-regional trade. However, the growing capacity and demand mismatch is resulting in an unfavorable environment for basestock producers who are experiencing lower operating rates, increased price competition and slim margins.

    Rise of merchant marketers

    The increase in supply over the past 10 years has forced basestock manufacturing to move from a vertically integrated model, mainly serving in-house requirements, to one that is now led by merchant marketers. And, looking ahead, this is a trend that is expected to continue as the number of independent lubricant blenders and marketers across the world grows.

    Split of Basestocks Plants by Nature of Sales, 2008 to 2018-a

    Split of Basestocks Plant by Nature of Sales 2008-2018

    Forecasts suggest that of the total 5.0 million tonnes of new basestock capacity expected by 2028, 80%-85% is likely to be destined for the merchant market.

    Critical success factors

    A few years ago, when the supply of high performance basestocks was relatively limited, product quality was often cited as the key factor used when selecting basestock suppliers. Clearly, product quality and consistency are still high on the list of selection criteria since they allow blenders to optimize production processes and costs. However, as the growth in merchant basestock supply continues, suppliers need a good understanding of all the criteria coming into play in the decision-making process to ensure future success.

    Kline researchers are exploring the impacts of the new market scenario, where high-quality basestocks are readily available across the globe. Via the research, the level of importance customers place on specific criteria during supplier selection will be assessed, including:

    • Global coverage of plants and supply hubs
    • Product approvals
    • Range of basestock grades
    • Provision and quality of technical support and customer service
    • Price consistency and fairness of commercial terms

    The relative importance of these criteria may vary with factors including customer size, geography, and type of blender. But in such a challenging market, where finished lube demand is almost flat and capacity additions continue unabated, basestock suppliers that understand the changing decision- making processes of their different customer segments are the most likely to succeed.

    Study to reveal top performing basestock suppliers

    Kline’s new study Lubricant Basestocks Merchant Supplier Assessment will profile leading suppliers and report on the results of a survey among finished lubricant blenders, assisting both basestock suppliers and lubricant blenders.

    The report will assess the relative importance customers attach to various criteria in the basestock supplier selection process and identify the top-performing supplier against each of these parameters. A need-gap analysis will also be included to highlight the changing needs of blenders.

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    Global Business Outlook for Brightstocks

    Global Business Outlook for Brightstocks

    Regional Coverage: Asia-Pacific, North America, South America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East

    Base Year: 2020
    Published: Q1 2021

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    Base Year: 2022
    Published: April 2023

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    The supply of brightstocks continues to dwindle due to Group I plant closures driven by capacity overhang, technical obsolescence, and refiners’ recent pursuit of sustainability goals. Moreover, various substitutes such as Group II brightstocks and PIB are emerging. This report will focus on key trends, developments, challenges, and business opportunities in the global brightstock market.


    • Current and forecast demand for brightstocks
      • — By application
      • — By region
      • — By brightstock type*
    • Current and forecast supply for brightstocks
      • — By supplier
      • — By region
      • — By brightstock type*

    *Includes conventional Group I brightstocks, naphthenic brightstocks, and alternate brightstocks (Group II)

    • Potential shortfalls in the brightstock market
    • Potential substitutes for brightstocks in various applications
    • A comparative assessment of technical and economic feasibility of substitution by various alternatives

    Includes an Excel-based supply-demand model

    Table of Contents


    Executive Summary

    An overview of the report findings, plus a forecast based on Kline’s FutureView Forecasting Model

    Current and Forecast Demand

    • Current formulation approaches and brightstock demand by lubricant product
    • Demand by application and region
    • Lubricant demand outlook and changes in formulation
    • Brightstock demand outlook by application, region, and brightstock type

    Current and Forecast Supply

    • Current brightstock supply by brightstock type, region, and producer
    • Anticipated changes in brightstock capacity and resultant brightstock supply by brightstock type, region, and producer
    • A discussion on market trends shaping brightstock capacity

    Supply-Demand Balance

    • Current and projected supply-demand balance by region and brightstock type

    Substitute Products

    Supply and availability of different substitutes, their technical performance and pricing vis-à-vis brightstocks

    • Polyalphaolefins (PAO)
    • Polyisobutylenes (PIB)
    • Polyalkylene glycols (PAG)

    Market Evaluation and Outlook

    • Business outlook, opportunities, and challenges for brightstock suppliers and blenders
    • Barriers for entry for substitutes

    Supplier Profiles

    • A brief profile of key brightstock suppliers (listed in table 1)
    Ergon PBF Energy
    ExxonMobil PERTAMINA
    HollyFrontier Petrobras
    IRPC Shell
    Luberef CEPSA

    Forecast period: 2022 to 2032

    Report Benefits

    This syndicated report is designed to provide an objective and thorough analysis of brightstock supply and demand, the emerging supply gap, and potential substitutes. Subscribers will be able to identify potential market opportunities and threats. The study also:

    • Serves as a useful tool to quickly learn the dynamics of brightstock market and assists in making business decisions
    • Offers valuable insights and information on business opportunities and threats
    • Helps subscribers recognize the likely shortfall in brightstock supply and identify suitable options to make up for the shortfall

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    Global Used Oil and Re-Refined Lubricants: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Global Used Oil and Re-Refined Lubricants: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Regional Coverage: Brazil, China, India, Japan, Mexico, USA and Canada, Western Europe

    Base Year: 2020 and 2021
    Published: Q1 2022

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    Base Year: 2023
    To be Published: Q4 2023

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    This report is a comprehensive analysis of the global used oil and re-refined lubricants industry as the focus of governments and corporations around the world increases on sustainability amidst the declining demand for basestocks. This study will focus on key trends, developments, changes, challenges, and business opportunities.


    • Assessment of material flows from finished lubricants and used oil collection to used oil disposal and re-refined basestocks production
    • Assessment of disposal routes for used oil, including energy recovery, re-refining, and other end uses
    • Evaluation of re-refined basestocks and lubricants and their key end-use segments
    • Analysis of market trends, growth drivers and restraints, and regulations
    • Evaluation of re-refined basestocks suppliers at the global and regional levels
    • Evaluation of market opportunities and challenges

    Table of Contents


    Executive Summary

    An overview of the report findings

    Country/Regional Market Profiles

    Detailed regional profiles focusing on key markets (listed in Table 1), including the following information:

    • Used oil market synopsis
    • Economic background
    • Vehicle population
    • Used oil and re-refining regulations
    • Finished lubricants demand, used oil generation, and re-refining material balances
    • Used oil generation, collection, and disposal
    • Used oil re-refining market overview
    • Used oil industry outlook
    • Market opportunities and challenges
    Brazil​ ​​​China
    India Japan
    Mexico ​​​U.S. and Canada
    Western Europe

    Report Benefits

    This report assists used oil collectors, re-refiners, lubricants blenders, and marketers in identifying opportunities within the global used oil re-refining industry. It also serves as an invaluable tool in the strategic planning process. Specifically, it helps subscribers:

    • Develop business strategies by understanding the trends and developments that are driving
      the used oil re-refining market
    • Identify end-use markets and applications with high potential for growth and the challenges and barriers for catering to these opportunities
    • Recognize key competitors and evaluate their market position

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    Global Lubricant Basestocks: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Global Lubricant Basestocks: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Regional Coverage: Africa and Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, South America

    Base Year: 2021
    To be published: Q3 2022
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    Base Year: 2022
    To be published: Q3 2023
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    The global basestock market is undergoing various changes in the wake of transition toward sustainability, rapid capacity expansion, declining demand, and swift quality upgrades. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the market covering current and future supply and demand dynamics, pricing, and manufacturing costs, helping identify opportunities and challenges in the market.


    • Lubricant basestock demand and supply analysis at a global level and by key regions, covering Africa and the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, South America, and select markets
    • Supply and demand estimates for API Group I, II/II+, III/III+, and naphthenic basestocks, as well as demand estimates for Group IV and Group V basestocks
    • Manufacturing cost analysis of typical Group I, II, and III basestock manufacturing plants
    • Analysis of current pricing levels and price forecast for key grades of Group I, II, and III basestocks across key regions: United States Gulf Coast (USGC), Northwest Europe (NWE), and Northeast Asia (NEA)

    Includes a 20-year forecast
    Access to an Intelligence Center providing latest insights into the basestocks market

    Table of Contents



    Overall Market Summary

    North America Basestock Market

    Profiles for each region will cover the following information:

    • Market overview
    • Finished lubricants market (current demand by product types and viscosity grades, demand growth, and viscosity grade shifts)
    • Formulation trends
    • Current and projected basestock demand by API groups and viscosity grades
    • Basestock supply (key plants, capacity, production, and viscosity grades produced by API group)
    • Projected capacity addition and plant closures
    • Current and projected basestock supply
    • Current and projected basestock supply–demand balance
    • Basestock trade

    South America Basestock Market

    Europe Basestock Market

    Asia-Pacific Basestock Market

    Africa and the Middle East Basestock Market

    a-Base year: 2022; forecasts to 2027, 2032, 2037, and 2042


    Basestock Pricing Analysis and Forecast

    • Key grades of Group I, II, II+, and III for NEA, NWE, USGC
    • Key grades of naphthenic basestocks for USGC


    Manufacturing Cost Analysis of Select Basestocks Plants

    • Europe Group I plant
    • North America Group II plant
    • Asia Group III plant


    Each market profile (listed in table 1) contains the following:

    • Finished lubricants demand and trends
    • Basestocks supply and demand by API Groups and viscosity grades (current and forecast)
    • Basestock trade

    b-Forecast period: 2022 to 2042

    ​​Brazil Japan South Korea
    China Russia​​​​​​​ Thailand
    Indonesia ​​​​Taiwan United States
    India ​​​​​​ ​​​​​​


    Report Benefits

    Subscribers to the study will receive an in-depth understanding of the current status of the basestocks industry in terms of basestock supply, basestock application space and demand, lubricant formulation trends, basestock pricing mechanism, inter-region trade, inter-material competition, and manufacturing costs.

    • Subscribers will receive supply–demand models for each trade region, which are an invaluable tool for conducting “what-if” analyses based on different assumptions on formulations, viscosity grades and shifts, and overall lubricants demand growth.
    • The study is a useful tool for sales, marketing, finance, technology, and strategy personnel to quickly learn the fundamentals of the basestock business, understand lubricant basestock requirements of the leading end-use markets, and make business decisions.

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