Growth of 10W Demand Forecast for Thailand, Indonesia


SINGAPORE – Demand for 10W engine oils should continue growing at healthy rates, a Lubrizol official told a recent industry conference here, though for different reasons and even for different types of vehicles.

Lubrizol Product Manager for Engine Oils Colin Morton told the ICIS Asian Base Oils & Lubricants Conference last month that Thailand will demand more 10W oils for pickup trucks, while Indonesia will use them for motorcycles.

For Thailand, demand [is] growing for high-performance oils designed for diesel pickup trucks with 10W-30, 10W-40, 15W-40 and 15W-50 as the main viscosity grades for lubricant demand in 2015, Morton said.

Thailand is the second-largest market in the world for one-ton pickup trucks, which represent more than 40 percent of all vehicles sold in the country and approximately 50 percent of passenger vehicles. Morton said Sales continue to grow each year, and by 2016 there will be over 5 million pickup trucks in Thailand.

A study done by the Business Consultants Association, of Japans Fukui prefecture, said pickup trucks have a higher floor level than passenger cars and can better handle the floods and bad roads, both of which are common in Thailand. Pickup trucks are commonly used for transporting goods and people and gained popularity when the government set a sales tax rate of 3 percent for pickups, which was lower than the tax on passenger cars.

Thailand is the second-largest lubricant market in Southeast Asia. As part of Lubrizols research there, the company interviewed owners of one-ton pickups, Morton said, and found that their main concerns were to improve the power and acceleration of their trucks while protecting the engine better. Morton concluded that 10W oils formulated with high-performance lubricant additive packages and performance polymers can help accomplish these things.

In contrast to Thailand, Indonesias favored mode of transportation are motorcycles and scooters, which account for 86 percent of the nations vehicle population with 7.91 million units. Motorcycle and scooter sales grew by 2 percent in 2014, while passenger cars showed no growth and truck sales fell by 6 percent.

Motorcycles remain the main form of personal transport, and Indonesia is the largest lubricant market in Southeast Asia, Morton said.

Lubrizol found motorcycle owners demanding good clutch control, and with the majority of motorcycles in the country coming from Japanese manufacturers, much of the lubricant demand growth in Indonesia will be for products meeting the Jaso MA2 motorcycle engine oil specification.As for scooters, the research found that most have continuously variable transmissions with no clutch or gears, meaning the oil is used for engine lubrication only. Jaso MB is a good match, Morton said, and oils meeting that spec will also see demand growth.

The main viscosity grades for lubricant demand in 2015 for Indonesia are 10W-30 and 10W-40, and there will be greater usage for 10W-XX engine oils, he said.

Improved lubricant quality [is] required to mitigate the impact of biodiesel, he added. Indonesia is a top producer of palm oil, and the country introduced a biofuel program in 2006 to help boost the use of the palm-based biodiesel. According to a report by the United States Department of Agricultures Foreign Agricultural Service, Biodiesel consumption in the transportation sector is expected to increase from a minimum of one percent in 2008 to a minimum of 20 percent of total fuel consumption in the sector by 2025 in Indonesia.

Singapores state-owned Development Bank of Singapore recently revised its 2015 economic growth estimates for Thailand from 5 percent to 3.1 percent and said it may lower its projection for Indonesia, too.

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