Asian Lube Demand Keeps Growing


The Asia-Pacific region accounted for an estimated 42 percent of global lubricants consumption in 2013, an official with Fuchs Petrolub told an industry conference in London two weeks ago. Apu Gosalia, head of global competitive intelligence for the German company, said Asia-Pacific consumed about 15 million metric tons of lubes last year.

According to Mannheim, Germany-based Fuchs, the worlds largest independent lubricant manufacturer, Asia-Pacific was responsible for just 29 percent of lubricant demand in 2000, when global demand was approximately the same as today. Fuchs estimates that worldwide demand not counting marine oils was 35.3 million tons in 2013, compared to 36.4 million tons in 2000.

Its amazing to witness that the Asia-Pacific region… consumes more than twice the lubes per annum that all of North America does, Gosalia told the ICIS World Base Oils & Lubricants Conference Feb. 20.

Gosalia said China and the United States are neck and neck for the largest country market, each consuming roughly 6 million tons of finished lubes last year. His estimates list India as the third-largest market, with Russia and Japan rounding out the top five.

Gosalia pegged per-capita lubricant consumption in China at 5 kilograms per person per year, and noted that this is the second-lowest rate among the 20 largest markets. He contended that Chinese consumption will eventually approach Europes rate of 9 kg/person/year.

If we translate this to China, its total market someday will be some 12 million tons, he said.

Based on Fuchs estimates, three Asian companies have joined the list of 20 biggest lubricant suppliers since 2000. Those companies are Indonesias Pertamina, Malaysias Petronas and India-based Gulf Oil.

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