Global lubricants market to see consolidation - Fuchs Petrolub

21 October 2010 16:15  [Source: ICIS news]

VIENNA (ICIS)--The global lubricants market is growing but will likely be concentrated in fewer hands, a marketing executive told a meeting of independent European lubricant manufacturers on Thursday.

Consolidation in the global lubricants industry had reduced the number of manufacturers from 200 major and 1,500 independent blenders in the mid-1990s to just 130 majors and 590 independents in 2005, according to Apu Gosalia, global head of strategic marketing at Fuchs Petrolub.

He said there is an expectation of further consolidation, especially among small and medium-sized companies.

Gosalia was speaking in Vienna, Austria, at the annual congress of the Independent Union of the European Lubricants Industry, known by its French acronym UEIL.

He estimated that the top 10 manufacturers represented 50% of the market by volume, with the other half shared by more than 700 companies.

“We see the market recovering to a level of 36m tonnes in 2010,” said Gosalia. Fuchs statistics showed that the global lubricants market, excluding marine lubricants, declined by 11.9% in 2009 to 32.8m tonnes.

Gosalia also described shifting patterns of lubricant consumption in developed and developing countries.

China was the only country among the top 20 consumers of lubricants to show an increase in consumption in 2009, with 6% growth, Gosalia said. The top 20 consuming countries accounted for around 70% of global lubricant consumption, he added.

Volume growth in lubricant consumption was greatest in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (countries of the former Soviet Union, excluding the Baltic states), he said.

In G8 countries, growth in lubricant consumption was much slower, but this trend was accompanied by a shift towards higher-quality lubricants.

Gosalia noted that both the quantity and quality of base oils consumed in CIS countries are improving. CIS countries accounted for around 10% of global nameplate capacity for the production of lubricants, he added.

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By: James Mills
+44 208 652 3214



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