Trendwatch: The Global Lubricant Additives Market

A series of emerging trends are transforming the global lubricants additives industry. Among them: green lubricant additives, new specifications, and supply chain issues. This webinar, based on our brand-new Global Lubricants Additives: Market Analysis and Opportunities study, will explore these trends and how they will change the marketplace.

Presented by David Tsui, Project Manager of our Energy sector, the webinar also covers:

- Overview of the global lubricant market covering market size, demand drivers, and a 5-year forecast
- Market share by product segment, region, and top supplier market shares
- Impact of new specifications, baseoil shifts, and EV fluids on lubricant additive formulations


David Tsui

Project Manager,

Mike Kunselman

Business Development Manager, The Center for Quality Assurance

Major Trends in Lubricants How the Landscape is Shifting In Favor

Major Trends in Lubricants: How the Landscape is Shifting In Favor of ILMAs

This year's ILMA Engage event saw industry experts gather in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to share insights on the lubricants industry's biggest trends. Among them: George Morvey, Industry Manager of Kline's Energy sector, who took the stage to discuss "How the Landscape is Shifting in Favor of ILMAs.


EVs and personal mobility

What’s Next in Personal Mobility


With 2021 in the rearview mirror, Kline is identifying which trends will impact the new year, bringing heretofore unseen changes and curveballs.Among the most significant: the end of the ICE (internal combustion engine) age for personal mobility in most parts of the world, triggered by the increasing popularity of EVs (electric vehicles) as consumers demand cleaner, greener options in their now-substantial interest in sustainability.  But with progress comes challenges: a rapid expansion of charging infrastructure is essential, and oil companies now face several threats, including the inevitable contraction in their fuel and lubricants businesses.

So what, exactly, will comprise the charging infrastructure? And how will oil companies respond to their new dilemmas? Kline answers those questions in What’s Next in Personal Mobility: A Look Into 2022 and Beyond, in addition to providing an overview of digital technology — and more.


synthetic and natural wax

Strengthening Sustainability Efforts Move the Goalposts in The Wax Industry

The economic and health crises of 2020 have caused energy market participants to refocus their attention on protecting the global ecosystem and regeneration — and now, the global wax industry is doing its part to move toward cleaner, sustainable, and circular products.  

As the volume of petroleum wax continues to diminish, crude oil-derived petroleum waxes and non-petroleum synthetic and natural waxes are stepping up to fill supply gaps in the wax industry. But how well will these waxes align with the drive toward global sustainability? Are there more sustainable substitutes? And are consumer preferences changing in favor of end-products with low carbon footprints and recyclable? 

Petroleum wax, which is the workhorse for the wax industry, is produced as a byproduct of Group I base oil production as well as via solvent dewaxing of heavy waxy crude. The supply of Group I base oil-derived wax, which is associated with Group I base oil production, is declining due to declining demand for Group I base oils. The demand for Group I base oils is declining as the automotive and industrial lubricant applications transition toward more efficient lubricants formulated from higher-quality base oils. It is estimated that in the next 10-year period, base oil supply by wax-producing Group I plants will reduce to half of its current volume and, in the long-term — by perhaps 2050 — the supply will further reduce to nearly one-third of the current volume. This will have drastic implications on the supply of petroleum waxes, leaving the world short of nearly 1.5-2.0 million tonnes of gross Group I base oil-associated slack wax production. 

Wax and Group I Base Oil Supply Trend

Crude oil-derived petroleum waxes, produced by massive petrochemical refineries in Northeast China, have historically helped in softening the blow of Group I base oil-derived petroleum waxes capacity closures. These refineries will continue to supply petroleum waxes in the mid- to long-term future to partially fill the gap created by the loss of base oil-derived waxes. 

But which waxes are most sustainable? According to Kline's research, those produced via synthetic and natural processes may have an edge in the long-term future. Synthetic waxes that are derived from natural gas, such as those produced via Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process and polymerization of ethylene, have relatively lower carbon footprints compared to crude oil or coal-derived waxes.  These waxes are also free from toxic impurities such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, sulfur, and heavy metals, which may be found in petroleum waxes.  

Polyethylene (PE) waxes currently upstage other synthetic waxes when it comes to offering innovative sustainable products. Byproduct PE waxes that are produced via thermal cracking of waste plastics replace the “end-of-life” concept with “regeneration” in the plastics industry — one of the most vexed industries for waste generation. Although thermal cracking of waste plastics into oils and waxes has existed for years, the technology is regaining focus as a viable solution for tackling global waste plastics issues. New players are entering this market, with GreenMantra and Clariter being the most recently established.  

waste plastics into oils and waxes

The wax market is also currently seeing the introduction of revolutionary bio-based PE waxes. This type of wax, produced from plant-sourced ethanol, a 100% renewable source, can assist end users in reduce their carbon footprints when used in applications such as adhesives, cosmetics, coatings, and PCV compounding. In June 2021, Braskem, a Brazilian petrochemical company, introduced a sugarcane ethanol-based bio-PE wax product to its I'm green™ branded product portfolio. Demand for such products in the future will be driven by PVC manufacturers who are introducing bio-based PVC products to their portfolios and are looking for bio-based solutions for PVC lubrication. Bio-based PVC technology has recently surfaced, with eminent PVC manufacturer INEOS’ INOVYN business at the forefront with its BIOVYN branded bio-PVC products. 

Natural waxes that are produced from renewable plant-based sources and carry a green label on them, such as palm and soy, are doing exceptionally well in candle applications. These waxes are also gaining steam in cosmetics, food-based packaging, and coatings applications, driven by their suitability for food contact. Natural waxes have historically advanced only in application areas that consume softer waxes due to their lower melting points. However, the growing desire of wax consumers to use sustainable ingredients in other applications that have been traditionally served by harder, high melt-point waxes will drive their demand in the long term. Clariant’s Licocare rice bran wax, which is targeted at high-melt applications such as engineering thermoplastics and masterbatches, is an example of this trend. 

How will the wax industry acclimate to the new sustainable and circular environment? What roadblocks could slow down the adoption of waxes with low-carbon footprints?

The wax market has historically exhibited versatility and adeptness in absorbing non-petroleum waxes in the absence of a sufficient supply of petroleum wax. In the future, it is estimated that wax customers in traditional candles or board sizing applications — who are sensitive to changes in supply or price of wax — will experience a more significant impact. These applications will find it tougher to transition toward more expensive alternatives to petroleum wax, such as FT waxes. These applications are driven by end-consumer preference, have low barriers to entry, and are vulnerable to substitution in the long run. In contrast, rheological and surface applications such as PVC, hot-melt adhesives, masterbatches, inks, paints, and coating are higher-value applications that offer higher barriers to entry. Rheological and surface applications also have the ability to pay higher prices for waxes. In the long run, these applications will exhibit higher flexibility to absorb cleaner or sustainable products, such as synthetic waxes or even chemically modified plant-sourced waxes, which are typically more expensive. 

Another foreseeable challenge in transitioning toward clean and sustainable waxes could arise due to the raw material limitations for these waxes. Both synthetic and plant-sourced natural waxes could see supply limitations in the long-term future for several reasons. For one, in FT waxes, nearly half of the global supply is met by Chinese coal-to-liquids (CTL) plants, which convert coal to syn gas for producing waxes and other products. These plants are not likely to see any capacity additions beyond 2030 as China tightens its carbon emission limits to meet its carbon neutrality targets by 2060. Other synthetic wax suppliers, such as thermal degradation PE producers, may see lower volumetric growth due to raw material issues. The raw materials (plastic waste) that these plants consume are non-uniform in nature, resulting in lower quality of finished products. While these waxes may be able to meet the circular economy objective, they may not achieve the required quality standards for several applications. 

Vegetable oil-derived waxes may seem to be checking all the boxes, as they are plant-sourced. However, they will also have their own limitations in the future. Growth in palm plantations, from which palm wax is derived, has been termed as “the other oil spill,” as it has resulted in large-scale deforestation of tropical forest land in Asia. Negative consumer sentiments associated with palm plantations are likely to hamper the growth in palm waxes in the future. Meanwhile, soy waxes —produced from soy oil — are seeing growing demand from other competing markets such as fuels and food, and this could restrict the availability of soy oil for producing wax. 

wax industry acclimate to the new sustainable and circular environment

Sustainability trends will provide a new spin to the wax market 

The ever-complex wax market will face new challenges as consumers increasingly demand materials produced from greener sources. As a result of such demand, suppliers will strive to exhibit their commitment to protecting the global ecosystem by including new, innovative products based on renewable and recycled sources. With a reinforced global wave toward sustainability and a circular economy in 2020 and 2021, the wax industry is at the cusp of a new — and sustainable — normal.  

Kline & Company, an industry leader in providing market research reports and expertise on the wax industry, will soon be publishing a detailed report titled, Global Wax Industry: Market Analysis and Opportunities. 

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Global White Oils: Market Analysis and Opportunities

The global demand for white oils has been increasing slowly over the past few years. Despite the slow growth, the market remains dynamic due to the increasing use of Group II baseoils, intensifying competition from small suppliers, substitution by other products, and increasing regulatory control.

Learn more >>

Global Lubricants: Market Analysis and Assessment

This continuous publication since 2003, provides a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of automotive and industrial finished lubricant products, end-use industries, trade classes, major suppliers, and market trends in leading country markets and regions.

The customized report covers your choice of 10 country market and/or supplier profiles and offers a comprehensive Year in Review summarizing the overall global lubricants industry.

Learn More >>




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

    Price Anchor

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    How Will the White Oils Market Evolve in the Post-COVID-19 World

    How Will the White Oils Market Evolve in the Post-COVID-19 World

    Global white oils demand is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.1% to reach almost 2.0 million tonnes by 2025, mainly due to the global economy recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

    White oils ― comprised of highly refined paraffinic or naphthenic baseoils with extremely low aromatic content ― are colorless, tasteless, odorless, and hydrophobic and do not change color over time. They’re also known as light mineral oils, light liquid paraffin, and light paraffin oils in different parts of the world.

    White oils are used in various industries and their functionality varies from one industry to another. Key white oil applications are described in the table below:

    white oils market in different applications

    The Changes in White Oils Grades Uses

    White oils are produced in two quality grades: pharmaceutical and technical (or industrial) grade. Pharmaceutical grade is the most refined white oil, consisting of only branched alkanes and cycloalkanes and free from aromatic or unsaturated compounds. Quality standards for pharmaceutical-grade white oils in a country are usually set by the national pharmacopeia. However, standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia and the U.S. FDA for use in the food, pharmaceuticals, and personal care industries are followed globally. 

    Pharmaceutical-grade white oils are mainly used in industries such as personal care, pharmaceuticals, and food, as the end products of these industries are either ingested or come in contact with human skin. Earlier, pharmaceutical-grade white oils were used in equipment, where incidental contact with food, medicines, or personal care products was possible. For all other equipment, technical-grade white oils were used. However, lately, for all equipment, only pharmaceutical-grade white oils is used irrespective of whether the lubricant can come in contact with end products or not. This approach is followed in most markets.  Pharmaceutical-grade white oils are also used in industrial applications such as adhesives and sealants, and plastics, as they are used in packaging food, medicines, and personal care products. 

    Technical-grade white oils are mainly used in non-food-contact industrial applications such as textile, plastics, and adhesives and sealants, paper, and agriculture. However, technical-grade white oils can be used in food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries, where white oils do not come in contact with end products in some markets, such as China. 

    Why Pharmaceutical Grades Dominate

    Pharmaceutical-grade white oils lead demand with more than 50% share due to a preference for pharmaceutical-grade white oils in the food, pharmaceuticals, and personal care industries. They also have significant usage in the plastics and adhesives and sealants industries used for food, medicine, and personal care products packaging, as previously noted.

    However, there are regional variations. For example, in Europe and North America, pharmaceutical-grade white oil dominates the market, with more than three-fourths of market share. As a result, in these regions, end users in industrial applications such as adhesives and sealants or plastics (not meant for food packaging) also use pharmaceutical-grade white oils.  The end users were already using pharmaceutical-grade white oils and have shifted to only using pharmaceutical-grade white oils. It also helps end users project an image of being more health- and safety-conscious. And while pharmaceutical-grade white oils are more expensive than technical-grade of white oils, the price difference is within the 5% to 10% range, which is not cost-prohibitive.

    Global White Oil Demand

    Global white oil demand was estimated at 1.7 million tonnes in 2020. Asia leads consumption, as it is the leading producer of plastics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and adhesives and sealants (the industries that are the largest consumers of white oils). Asia is also one of the biggest producers of personal care products globally. China and India are the two biggest markets for white oils in Asia. Asia is followed by North America and Europe, with plastics and personal care being two leading consumers of white oils in both regions. The United States is the largest market in North America, accounting for almost 95% of white oils demand in the region. In Europe, Germany is the leading consumer of white oils.


    white oils demand by region

    Impact of COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse impact on global white oils demand, causing an estimated 5% drop in 2020. The scale of decline varied from one country to another. The decreases, between 5% and 10%, were higher in developed markets such as Germany, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom because these countries were among the most impacted during the first wave of COVID-19, experiencing temporary closures or reduction in production activities in various factories.

    China and India also witnessed lessened demand of around 3% in 2020. However, in other Asian countries, such as South Korea, Japan, and Indonesia, drops in demand were not significant for several reasons. For one, decreased demand in industries such as agriculture, textile, and personal care in South Korea and Japan in 2020 was offset by increased demand in the food, pharmaceuticals, and plastics industries. As a result, the decline in demand was less than 1% in both South Korea and Japan. Other countries, such as Brazil and South Africa, also witnessed minor decline in white oils demand in 2020.

    The impact of COVID-19 on various industries differed. As consumers observed quarantine orders and purchased less makeup and clothes, demand for white oils decreased in the personal care and textile industries. Meanwhile, the closure of restaurants and bars led to a decline in white oils demand in the food industry, and the temporary closure of plastics and adhesives and sealants production facilities also led to declines. But the pharmaceuticals industry saw an increase in white oils demand. The reason: Pharmaceuticals production rose, with consumers purchasing more than their average number of medications during the pandemic.

    Base Oils

    White oils are among the purest lubricants. Group I base oils need to undergo an extensive purification process before they can be used to produce white oils. This increases the cost of producing white oils from Group I base oils. Further, the supply of Group II base oils has increased while the supply of Group I base oils has decreased. As a result, white oil suppliers prefer Group II base oils over Group I due to the higher processing cost associated with the latter. Group II base oils are also preferred over Group III base oils, as the latter are more expensive than the former.

    The choice of base oils to produce white oils also depends upon the availability. For example, the United States is the biggest producer of naphthenic base oils. Therefore, the usage of naphthenic base oils to produce white oils is higher than Group I and III base oils in the country. The demand for white oils in Indonesia and South Africa is met through imports; the base oils used to produce them depend upon their availability in countries such as India and South Korea, from where white oils are imported.

    White Oil Suppliers

    China, the United States, and India, together, accounted for around two-thirds of global white oils demand in 2020. Consequently, the leading white oils suppliers in these countries also lead the global market. For example, Sinopec leads the market in China and is the leading supplier globally. Similarly, HollyFrontier and Calumet, together, account for 90% of sales in the United States. Savita Oil, Gandhar Oil, Raj Petro, and Apar are top leading suppliers on India’s white oils market.

    Apart from Indian white oil suppliers, most other white oil suppliers are focusing on their domestic markets. For example, Sinopec is the biggest white oil supplier, but all its white oil sales are in China; Indian suppliers such as Gandhar Oil and Savita Oil, export white oils to such countries as Brazil, Indonesia, and South Africa. Panama Petrochem, an Indian supplier, is mainly focusing on the exports market for white oils.

    Where Will White Oils Grow the Most?

    Lithium-ion battery separators is expected to be the fastest-growing application for white oils from 2020 to 2025, driven by increased interest in electric vehicles. The pharmaceuticals industry is expected to be the second fastest-growing application for white oils, driven by an aging population in Europe and countries such as Japan, as well as increasing healthcare coverage in countries such as India and South Africa.

    Africa and the Middle East, and Europe are expected to be the fastest-growing regions for white oils demand globally. Europe was the region most affected by COVID-19 and is thus expected to have faster growth rates as its economy recovers. Growth in Africa is expected to be faster due to income growth, leading to quicker growth in packaged food items and pharmaceuticals. This, in turn, will lead to higher growth in white oils demand. Asia will remain the biggest white oils-consuming region due to economic growth and the continued shift of the industrial production of plastics, paper, and more to Asia.

    In terms of grades, demand for pharmaceutical-grade white oils is expected to grow faster than technical-grade white oils. This will occur as white oils demand in the pharmaceuticals, food, and personal care industries — which mainly use pharmaceutical-grade white oils — grows faster than white oils demand in industries such as adhesives and sealants, along with plastics, which uses technical-grade white oils in large quantities.

    In terms of base oils, demand for Group III and II base oils for manufacturing white oils is expected to grow faster than demand for Group I and naphthenic base oils. This is mainly due to purity requirements and growth in the supply of Group II and III base oils.

    About the study:

    Global White Oils: Market Analysis and Opportunities assists white oil marketers in identifying opportunities within the global white oil industry. It also serves as an invaluable tool in the strategic planning process. To learn more about the study REQUEST more information.


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    Global White Oils: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    The global demand for white oils has been increasing slowly over the past few years. Despite the slow growth, the market remains dynamic due to the increasing use of Group II baseoils, intensifying competition from small suppliers, substitution by other products, and increasing regulatory control.

    Learn more >>

    Global Lubricants: Market Analysis and Assessment

    This continuous publication since 2003, provides a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of automotive and industrial finished lubricant products, end-use industries, trade classes, major suppliers, and market trends in leading country markets and regions.

    The customized report covers your choice of 10 country market and/or supplier profiles and offers a comprehensive Year in Review summarizing the overall global lubricants industry.

    Learn More >>




    PE Wax Market Amid the COVID-19 Turmoil, and Beyond

    PE Wax Market Amid the COVID-19 Turmoil, and Beyond

    The COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices create new opportunities and challenges for polyethylene wax producers.

    With the growth in supply in the last two decades, polyethylene (PE) waxes have carved out a unique market space in the global wax market. PE waxes, which were first introduced with the intention of making up for the shrinking supply of specialty petroleum waxes, such as microcrystalline and high-melt paraffin, soon became the preferred additives in several applications, due to their superior performance.

    PE waxes in the spotlight

    Figure 1: PE Wax Demand in Traditional, as Well as Newer Rheological and Surface Applications, 2019

    PE Wax Demand

    PE waxes have low molecular weight, high melting points, a highly linear structure, chemical resistance, lubrication, and anti-blocking properties, which makes them top-of-the-line additives in applications that either require lubrication or physical modification in their formulation. Top application areas where PE waxes are used as additives include plastic processing, masterbatches, hot-melt adhesives, coatings, paints, inks, packaging, and tire/rubber.

    Plastic processing aids, where PE waxes are used for improving the rheological properties during the processing of rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other polymers, account for almost one-third of the global PE wax demand. In masterbatches, PE waxes are preferred, as they are excellent dispersants and carriers for the masterbatch-plastic mixture. PE waxes are also desirable in applications demanding strong adhesion and compatibility, due to their high melting points and fast setting time. This is highly favorable in hot-melt adhesives that are used in a multitude of end uses such as corrugated-container or folding-carton sealants, as binding adhesives; in furniture and shoe manufacturing; and for other packaging, tapes, labels, textile products, and product-assembly applications.

    Coatings, paints, and inks are some of the applications where PE waxes offer modification of surface properties such as improving the hardness, scuffability, gloss, waterproofing, and durability. PE waxes are also used in non-food flexible packaging and single-use food-based packaging applications, as they provide a strong moisture and grease barrier and also improve the appearance of packaging material.

    All of the above-mentioned applications are well positioned for significant growth globally. Asia is the highest consumer of PE waxes, with most of the demand coming from China. Plastic processing (primarily PVC), masterbatches, hot-melt adhesives, as well as paints, coatings, and tire/rubber production account for a large share of Asian polymer wax consumption. Rapidly industrializing Asian economies, such as China and India, are fueling the demand for PVC, masterbatches, and hot-melt adhesives in the region. Developed Asian markets, such as South Korea and Japan, are major exporters of electronic devices and automotive parts that require plastic components and color concentrates and, thus, consume PE waxes.

    Increased urbanization, a widening middle-class population, and employment growth in developing Asian countries are some factors that are propelling construction and commercial activities in the region. This, in turn, is driving up the demand for paints, inks, and coatings, which are used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. The growing appetite of Asian households for home appliances and other consumer goods is contributing to the increase in demand for color masterbatch and packaging materials. A large portion of the wax demand by these applications is met by regional suppliers in China and India. These suppliers either process PE waxes that are produced as a by-product of plastic processing, or they produce low-grade PE wax via thermal degradation of used plastics. Marcus Oil, a large Indian producer, as well as Qingdao Bouni and Qingdao Sainuo, two producers in China, are top suppliers of PE waxes produced in this fashion.

    While, the demand for PE waxes in North America and Europe is small in comparison to that in Asia, these regions are home to some of the most high-end PE wax-based applications. Currently, the demand for specialty PE waxes in high-end applications in these regions is driven by the developments in the automotive sector, new product innovations (for example, nonwoven fabrics), and a trend toward solvent-free chemistries due to regulatory concerns. These applications generate the demand for high-grade, better-performing plastic products, masterbatches, hot-melt adhesives, paints, coatings, and rubber/tires. Due to the specialty nature of these applications and higher levels of PE wax customization, the demand is met by higher-end, better-quality PE waxes. Such specialty waxes are produced “on purpose” which means that they are produced in a plant using processes designed to produce these waxes – they are not by-products. On-purpose waxes are produced via direct polymerization, which creates tailored waxes with narrow molecular weight distribution, with high uniformity at the molecular level – by manufacturers in the United States and Europe using ethylene feedstock. This includes suppliers such as Honeywell, Westlake, Clariant, BASF, and Baker Hughes.

    On-purpose PE wax production from ethylene in the United States has historically been advantageous over other regions, due to plentiful supply of ethylene feedstock in the region. The availability of low-cost ethane derived from natural gas production in the region has driven an increase in new ethylene production capacities in the region. In contrast, in Europe, the ethylene feedstock for PE wax comes from crude oil-derived naphtha in refinery crackers, resulting in higher production costs. Thus, over the years, higher-cost European PE wax producers have operated at a disadvantage compared with their North American counterparts.

    Figure 2: Specialty On-Purpose PE Wax Supply Chain

    How have the rules of the game changed in 2020?

    The market conditions in 2020 could change the rules of the game for PE wax suppliers. Factors such as reduced end-customer demand, strained United States-China trade relations, and low global crude oil and natural gas price spread will reduce the feedstock ethylene price differential between North America and Europe. In this environment, the long-time cost-competitiveness that the United States PE wax producers have enjoyed over the European producers will erode.

    In 2019, the United States market had a surplus of ethylene supply due to existing production levels, as well as five new ethylene production capacities added during the year. A large share of ethylene produced in the United States is exported to China, either as feedstock or as polyethylene. However, trade tensions between the United States and China, which surfaced in the latter half of 2019 and continued into 2020, have negatively impacted trade between the two countries, leaving the United States stranded with large volumes of ethylene inventories. The situation has been further exacerbated by the slump in demand for consumer goods, due to COVID-19 lockdowns globally. COVID-triggered lockdowns have reduced Chinese industrial output, resulting in lower demand for feedstocks such as ethylene.

    Surplus ethylene availability in the United States has pulled prices down. In April 2020, United States ethylene contracts settled at an 18-year low of 1.25 cents/lb. (USD 28/tonne). Lower ethylene prices translate into a lower cost of PE wax production; ideally, reaping better margins for suppliers of PE waxes in the United States. However, the recent crash in crude oil prices has also provided a considerable cost advantage to naphtha-derived ethylene producers in Europe. This is anticipated to narrow the price spread between the cost of PE wax production in Europe and the United States, thus bringing suppliers in both regions to nearly equal footing.

    Where are the opportunities and challenges in this market?

    Despite severe demand cutbacks for most of the wax-based applications in 2020, and grim global and regional GDP forecasts, positive outcomes have surfaced in certain application areas. Nearly all mainstream applications for PE waxes, such as plastic processing aids, masterbatches, hot-melt adhesives, paints, coatings, inks, and rubber/tires, are forecast to experience significant declines in 2020. In contrast, PE wax demand in applications related to packaging, pharmaceutical, medical rubber, and personal care products are anticipated to remain strong, supported by their growth through the COVID-19 crisis period.

    Figure 3: Comparison of Pre-COVID-19 and Post-COVID-19 Growth in Key PE-Wax-Consuming Applications


    Packaging material for food-contact applications and for consumer-goods deliveries continued to grow in the first half of 2020. In most countries, the food industry continued to operate through the lockdown period, as the industry was categorized as “essential.” Hence, the food-packaging industry has seen only limited impact on its demand. The shut-down of in-restaurant dining resulted in a higher volume of packaged take-aways, as well as a stronger demand for groceries and packaged food items. This trend remains strong even in the post-lockdown phase in many countries, as consumers continue to observe precautionary social-distancing measures.

    Corrugated and flexible packaging for consumer-goods deliveries played an important role during the lockdown period by providing packaging for essential goods like medical products, pharmaceuticals, essential household goods, and groceries. Even post-lockdown, many regional markets are seeing a spike in online sales of consumer goods, which, in turn, is driving the demand for packaging material.

    Some pharmaceutical applications have performed better than expected in 2020. The medical industry is experiencing a surge in demand for rubber-based equipment such as hand gloves, catheters, balloons, veils, knobs syringes, breathing packs, and implantation/transfusion sets. PE waxes are typically used as additives in manufacturing these rubber products, for providing softness, waterproofing, and improved finishing. Additionally, there has been a continuous demand for such wax-based products as medical ointments and petroleum jelly. Although PE wax is not the mainstream wax used in these applications, small quantities of PE waxes may occasionally be used as additives in a blend with other waxes in these products.

    The personal-care industry has witnessed particularly strong growth in hygiene-based products in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first half of 2020, a significant jump in demand was recorded globally for hand cleaners and sanitizers, as preventive measures against COVID-19. In the face of incremental demand, many personal-care product suppliers even switched their manufacturing capacities to produce hand sanitizers and cleaning agents. Although synthetic waxes have limited demand in these applications, PE waxes can partially make up for the shortfall of paraffin and vegetable waxes in cases of disrupted supply chains and logistics.

    It is not all good news for PE wax producers. The year has witnessed a sharp contraction in demand from mainstream PE wax rheology and surface-based applications, such as PVC, masterbatches, hot-melt adhesives, paints, inks, coatings, and tires. Most of these applications are closely linked with the economic well-being of nations, driven by their industrial growth, residential and commercial construction activities, and the automotive industry. These sectors have been severely affected in 2020 due to the lockdowns and social-distancing measures being observed in key global economies.

    Reduced consumer demand, disrupted supply chains, and volatility in energy markets are likely to result in reduced industrial activity, thereby impacting the demand for plastics, masterbatches, adhesives, and other related products. Business losses and financial turmoil in 2020 are anticipated to leave the residential and commercial construction sectors weakened, which will impact the demand for PVC products, paints, and coatings. The automotive industry, which is a significant consumer of masterbatches, coatings, inks, and tires, is likely to underperform over the next few years. This is due to reduced mobility, high unemployment levels, and lower consumer purchasing power over the near-term future.

    In conclusion, amidst the ongoing economic adversity, a handful of select applications are prospering, while others have taken a hit. Applications such as packaging, pharmaceuticals, medical rubber products, and personal care are performing better than what was anticipated during the pre-COVID months and will provide support to PE wax demand over the near-term future. Estimated post-2020 recovery in GDP offers optimism for recovery in mainstream PE wax applications, which will experience slower growth rates in the short term compared to what was anticipated before the COVID-19 crisis.

    Gain more data and insights on leading petroleum waxes, synthetic waxes, vegetable and plant waxes, while evaluating their global supply-demand scenarios from our recently published study Global Wax Industry: Market Analysis and Opportunities. Request more information or demo of the report HERE.

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    EV Fluids for commercial vehicles

    Electric Vehicles Fluids: Market Analysis and Opportunities (Consumer Volume)

    Electric Vehicles Fluids: Market Analysis and Opportunities (Consumer Volume)

    Regional Coverage: China, Europe, Japan, United States

    Base Year: 2020
    Published: Q3 2021

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    Base Year: 2022
    To be Published: Q3 2023

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    Performance requirements for the various fluids consumed in electric vehicles (EVs) are significantly different from those used in conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Besides being different from ICE vehicle fluids, the performance requirements of EV fluids may differ based on the technology used to implement electric drives. Growth of EVs will herald a new lubricants market niche focused on the lubrication needs of EVs.


    • Assessment of the current and projected EV fleet in terms of overall size, technologies used, and key OEMs
    • Analysis of fluid requirements for different EV technologies
    • Assessment of the impact of various EV technologies on EV fluid specification and demand
    • EV maintenance and fluid change practices and the resulting demand for EV fluids
    • Evaluation of fluid requirements of installed and announced fast-charging infrastructure projects
    • Identification of market opportunities and challenges


    Report Contents


    Executive Summary

    An overview of the report findings, including a succinct view of the global EV fluids market

    Country Profiles

    • Detailed profiles of four markets (listed in Table 1) are provided, including the following information:

    Enablers For the Electric Vehicle (EV) Transition

    • BEV, HEV, and PHEV fleet size, sales, production and manufacturing capabilities by OEMs, and outlook
    • State-of-the-art in EV charging infrastructure
    • Regulations and fiscal policies and other decarbonization efforts promoting EV deployment


    Europe (EU-27+United Kingdom, and Norway)
    The United States​​​​


    Trends in Electric Passenger Vehicle Technologies

    Description of current and emerging EV architectures and trends in HEVs, PHEVs, and BEVs

    • Analysis of battery technology trends: optimization, energy density, new materials
    • Technology adopted by the leading EV OEMs, introduction of new models, and their relationship with lubricants suppliers

    Electric Vehicles Fluids Market Analysis

    Engines oils, transmission fluids, coolants, and grease markets are profiled, covering the topics listed below:

    • Typical/key OEM specifications and emerging OEMs requirements for dedicated EV fluids
    • Maintenance practices and drain intervals
    • Overall demand and splits by factory fill versus service fill and by EV technology
    • Pricing points in comparison to ICE products
    • 2050 market outlook

    Market Appraisal

    • Impact of technological evolution in electric vehicle fluids demand
    • Implications for lubricants industry participants
    • Market opportunities and challenges

    Report Benefits

    This report assists lubricants industry participants in identifying opportunities and challenges within the EV fluids market. It will also serve as an invaluable tool in the strategic planning process. Specifically, the report helps subscribers:

    • Develop an understanding of the emerging EV technologies that are reshaping the automotive fluids market
    • Assess current and future demand for various EV fluids based on EV maintenance and fluid change practices
    • Understand the emerging performance requirements for EV fluids; design and develop products meeting these requirements

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    Global Fuel Additives: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Global Fuel Additives: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Base Year: 2022
    Published: December 2022
    Regional Coverage: Asia, Europe, North America, South America

    This report is a comprehensive analysis of the global market for fuel additives, covering the impact of COVID-19, de-carbonization strategies, emerging fuels, new regulations, and changing customer behavior on the fuel market. It examines fuel additive demand by additive and fuel type and covers the impact of market and technology trends, regulations, and emerging fuels. Leading marketers, market developments, challenges, and business opportunities are also evaluated.


    • Demand for fuel additives at the global level and by region for base year plus a five-year forecast
    • Demand for fuel additives by fuel type, point of application, and fuel additive component such as detergents, cetane improvers, and lubricity improvers
    • Demand for key fuel additive components by chemistries
    • Regulatory issues


    • Emerging fuels (biodiesel, ethanol, hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), and e-fuels)
    • Impact of electric vehicles on fuel and fuel additives demand
    • Competitive landscape and assessment of leading suppliers
      • — Sales of key fuel additive components by suppliers
    • Demand drivers and restraints and demand outlook
    • Analysis of market opportunities, challenges, and attractiveness

    Report Contents


    Executive Summary

    • An overview of key findings

    Global Fuel Market

    • Global overview
    • Regulations
    • Global fuel demand growth
    • Fuel demand outlook

    Global Fuel Additives Market

    • Global overview
    • Market categories
    • Leading suppliers
    • Fuel additive components
    • Outlook

    Regional Fuel Additive Market Profiles
    Detailed profiles of Asia (China, India, and Japan); Europe (European Union); North America; and South America (Brazil) are provided, including the following information:

    • Regional overview
    • Fuel market
    • Fuel additive demand
    • Fuel additive suppliers
    • Market outlook

    Supplier Profiles
    Detailed profiles of the companies listed in Table 2 will be provided, including the following information:

    • Fuel additives business background
    • Products
    • Estimated sales
    • Channels
    • Manufacturing
    • R&D
    • SWOT analysis
    Antifoaming ​Detergent/dispersant​​
    Antimisting​​​​​ Drag reducing agent​​​​​
    Anti-icing Dyes and markers​​​​
    ​​Antiknock Lubricity improvers​​​​
    Antioxidant Metal deactivators​​​​
    Cetane improver Stabilizers​​​​
    Cold-flow improver Octane enhancer​​​​
    Corrosion inhibitor Organometallic additives
    Conductivity improvers Other fuel additives
    Afton Chemical Company Innospec
    BASF​ Lubrizol
    VeryOne Oronite​​​​
    ​​Infineum Resellers and aftermarketers​​​​

    Report Benefits

    This report helps subscribers identify opportunities within the global fuel additives industry in the context of changing regulations, customer preferences, and de-carbonization objectives of fuel markets. The impact of emerging fuel types is also covered. The report also serves as an invaluable tool in the strategic planning process. Specifically, it assists subscribers by providing:

    • A highly reliable and independent assessment of global fuel additive consumption by component and market share
    • An examination of business opportunities globally in mature and emerging markets, new product developments, and channels to market
    • An unbiased appraisal of market trends and emerging applications

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    wax industry

    Global Wax Industry: Market Analysis and Opportunities

    Global Wax Industry: Market Analysis and Opportunities

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

    Base Year: 2021 / Plus 2020 estimates
    Forecasts to: 2025 and 2030
    Published: December 2021

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    Base Year: 2022
    Forecasts to: 2027 and 2032
    To be Published: Q3 2023

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    The global supply of petroleum wax, which is derived from Group I basestock production, is declining. This is creating a vacuum in the wax market, which is increasingly being filled by synthetic and vegetable waxes. Wax demand in fast-growing markets such as PVC, paints, coatings, and adhesives is increasing, while the demand is slowing down in traditional wax applications such as candles and board sizing. Wax end users are increasingly looking to include sustainable waxes in their production line to reduce their carbon footprints. This is expected to strengthen the transition in the wax industry toward low-carbon-intensive waxes.


    • Detailed market profile for petroleum waxes, including FRP, SRP, slack wax, microcrystalline waxes, and petrolatum/petroleum jelly.
    • Detailed market profile for FT waxes, polymer waxes, LAO waxes, and vegetable-/plant-derived waxes
    • Market dynamics for the leading wax applications, detailing wax demand in each application by wax type
    • Global and regional wax supply and demand outlook by wax type
    • Analysis of wax positioning and pricing
    • Recognition and interpretation of market trends, evaluating growth drivers and restraints
    • Identification of market opportunities and challenges
    • Detailed wax market model, mapping supply and demand by application for key wax types


    Table of Contents


    Executive Summary

    An overview of the report findings, plus forecast based on Kline’s Global Wax Market Model

    Profile of Regional Markets

    Detailed regional profiles of Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Africa and the Middle East cover the following information:

    • Wax supply
    • Wax demand
    • Wax supply–demand balance and trade
    • Wax pricing and inter-material competition
    • Market outlook opportunities and threats

    Wax Market Profiles 

    Detailed wax market profiles will be provided for:

    • Petroleum waxes – FRP, SRP/scale, slack
    • Petrolatum/Petroleum Jelly
    • Microcrystalline wax
    • Polyolefin
    • Fischer-Tropsch
    • Alphaolefin
    • Vegetable and plant waxes

    Each of the above wax profiles will cover the following information:

    • Wax supply
    • Wax applications and demand
    • Wax pricing
    • Wax supply-demand outlook
    • Wax market outlook, opportunities, and threats

    Wax Positioning, Pricing, and Inter-Material Competition 

    • Historical wax pricing trends
    • Current wax pricing by wax type

    Wax Market Model

    A detailed Excel model mapping supply and demand for petroleum, synthetic, and vegetable- and plant-based waxes for 2022, 2027, and 2032

    Report Benefits

    This report serves as an invaluable tool in the strategic planning process for wax producers, blenders, formulators, marketers, and other market participants by identifying opportunities and challenges within this industry. Specifically, it will assist subscribers in:

    • Understanding the future growth potential by analyzing the current and projected supply of petroleum waxes, synthetic waxes, and vegetable and plant waxes​
    • Understanding wax pricing and positioning trends, as well as gauging the inter-material competition among key wax types
    • Evaluating the current demand and growth potential in key applications, thus identifying opportunities and challenges for wax industry participants

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