Increasing global cargo fleet on account of increasing seaborne trade is expected to remain a key driving factor for global marine lubricants market over the next six years. An increasing number of voyages per year coupled with the expansion of global shipping industry is also expected to have a positive influence on the market growth. According to international trade statistics, over 90% of the global trade is done through the sea as a result; seaborne trade has increased by almost four times since last decade. Increasing disposable income among the urban as well as suburban populations in emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil has led to the increase in sea voyages over the past few years. This increase in sea voyages has also been a significant factor for the growth of shipping industry and further marine lubricants market. Technological advancements have helped in enhancing the shelf life of mechanical parts, which is expected to augment the marine lubricants market over the next several years.
The volatility of raw material prices coupled with stringent environmental regulations for manufacturing synthetic lubricants is expected to remain a key challenge for market participants. To overcome these challenges, manufacturers have been collaborating with biotechnology companies to develop bio-based alternatives conventional marine lubricants.
This is further supported by government favors and tax incentives for employing clean technologies. Innovation in product application development coupled with developing bio-based alternatives is expected to unlock opportunities in the global marine lubricants market for major participants.
Mineral oil was the largest product segment in the global marine lubricants market and is expected to continue its dominance over the next six years. Technological advancements and constant investment in R&D have been the key factors driving the mineral marine lubricants market over the last few years. The trend is anticipated to continue and support the demand over the forecast period. Mineral oil was followed by synthetic lubricants both in terms of volume and value. Increasing requirement for high-quality lube grades coupled with its growing importance for specific applications has been the major driving factors for synthetic marine lubricants market. Increasing emission standards coupled with widening demand-supply gap has led to the development of bio-based marine lubricants. Bio-based lubricant base stocks have gained adoption in the global market and are expected to grow at a considerable growth rate over the forecast period.
Engine oil was identified as the largest application segment in the global marine lubricants market at over 45% of total volume in 2013. Increasing ship engine capacity and efficiency has led to increase in demand for engine oils. Marine engine oils are primarily classified as trunk piston engine oils (TPEO) and marine diesel cylinder lubricants (MDCL). TPEOs are used for lubricating four-stroke engines of the cruise and costal ships while MDCLs are used in two-stroke engines of large container/cargo ships. Hydraulic oil is expected to witness highest growth rate over the next several years. The increasing application of hydraulic, mechanical parts in ships and boats is expected to drive the demand for hydraulic oils over the forecast period.
Europe emerged as the leading consuming region in the global marine lubricants market and accounted for over 45% of total volume in 2013. The European market is primarily driven by increasing capital investments for marine lubricants coupled with growing seaborne trade in the region. The regional marine lubricants market was inhibited by the economic slowdown which impacted the overall freight volume. Improving economic conditions is expected to have a positive outlook over the next few years in Europe. Asia Pacific market is expected to witness highest growth rate over the forecast period. Several market participants have been shifting their manufacturing bases to high growth regions of China and India owing to governmental favors in terms of tax benefits and financial incentives. Additionally, the emission standards in Asia Pacific are not as stringent as they are in U.S. and Europe. These micro and macro factors are expected to propel the regional growth of marine lubricants market.
The global marine lubricants market exhibits the properties of an oligopolistic market with one company following the other in terms of quality and price offerings. Key market participants compete against each other on the basis of application development and overall profitability. Since the market is moderately consolidated and is highly capital intensive the barriers to entry are quite high. The global market has witnessed a series of mergers and acquisitions and joint venture agreements over the last few years. The market is dominated by major oil and gas companies including Total lubricants (Lubmarine), Chevron, BP Marine, Royal Dutch Shell, Sinopec Corporation, Castrol, and ExxonMobil. Other companies operating in the global marine lubricants market include Mars Petrochem Pvt Ltd, Pentagon Lubricants Private Limited, Gulf Marine And Industrial Supplies Inc.
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