30 November 2012 18:35 [Source: ICIS news]
NEW YORK (ICIS)--Latin America lubricant demand has increased 20% since 2005, and many countries, especially Brazil, are demanding higher quality lubricants and base oils, an analyst said on Friday.
Brazil’s vehicle landscape is changing as more people move into the middle class, enabling them to purchase not only more cars but newer ones, said Ravi Tallamraju of Lubrizol.
Around 30% of Brazil’s vehicle fleet is less than three years old, Tallamraju said at the 8th annual ICIS Pan American Base Oils and Lubricants Conference.
The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are recommending SAE 5W motor oil for the newer cars versus SAE 10W, which was the norm just 5-10 years ago, Tallamraju said.
This means increased need for quality base oils and additives used to make higher performance lubricants.
Base oils and additives are the feedstocks used to create lubricants such as motor oil. Group II and Group III base oils are considered the higher quality base stocks.
In addition, there is increased use of flex fuel and alternative fuel type vehicles in Brazil. Nearly 75% of new vehicles in Brazil are designed for up to 100% ethanol usage.
The newer technologies are more sensitive to lubricant quality, Tallamraju said.
New legislation for improved fuel economy in Brazil will have significant impact on engine design and hardware choices, which means higher quality lubricant is needed, Tallamraju added.
The average fuel economy for gasoline powered cars in Brazil is 14 km/litre, and the proposed average for 2017 is 17.26.
For ethanol powered cars, the average fuel economy is 9.71 km/litre, and the proposed average for 2017 is 11.96.
OEMS that meet this requirement will receive tax incentives from the Brazilian government.
The finished lubricant makers will increasingly use more Group II and Group II base oils and synthetic lubricants to meet all of these demands – newer cars, fuel economy and legislation standards, Tallamraju said.
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