Pandemic Hits Global Lubricants Sales, Suppliers Punch Back
PARSIPPANY, NJ – December 16, 2021 - Kline’s new Global Lubricants Market Analysis and Assessment syndicated study has found that overall global automotive and industrial lubricants demand reached 36.4 million tonnes in 2020, down 10.9% from 2019 due to the global pandemic and its impact across all automotive and industrial sectors.
In terms of product supply, Kline finds that the top five global lubricants suppliers — Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, TotalEnergies, and Chevron, combined — accounted for 35% of global lubricants sales in 2020. Shell continues to be the No. 1 overall global supplier of automotive and industrial lubricants for the 15th consecutive year, notes George Morvey, Industry Manager at Kline.
While no supplier was immune from sales declines in 2020, there were some examples of strategic efforts in leading volume consuming markets that resulted in suppliers holding their respective positions as well as gaining share points. For example, in China, amid the booming e-commerce space for PCMO sales, suppliers strengthened their presence with online flagship stores through leading e-commerce platforms such as JD.com and Tmall.com. Suppliers also made efforts to work with online-to-offline aftermarket service providers to promote their product lines.
Product upgrades to meet the new API SP Service Category, along with products introduced and targeted at specific channels and vehicle types ― for example, franchised workshops and formulations for hybrid powertrains ― were observed. Moreover, integrated oil companies bundle lubricants with fuel-sales offers in European markets to target on- and off-highway fleets that value this service, which better manages their operational and maintenance costs.
Several recent acquisitions are poised to deliver promising results, such as ExxonMobil acquiring PT Federal Karyatama in Indonesia, giving it a strong position in lubricants for 2-wheelers, and Fuchs Petrolub SE’s acquisition of Nulon Products in Australia, which strengthens Fuchs in country lubricants blending capacity and enables it to target key automotive lubricants sales sectors including independent workshops and retailers
As the United States, China, and India continue to emerge from the pandemic’s impacts, with the United States’ lubricants demand declining by 9.7%, China dropping by 12.9%, and India lowering by 10.9% (2020 vs. 2019), signs of stability, recovery, and a return to normal consumption patterns are taking hold.
To learn more about the 16 country markets and six finished lubricants suppliers covered in detail in this critically important syndicated study, which is now in its 19th edition, subscribe to Kline’s Global Lubricants Market Analysis and Assessment.
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