2-wheeler Lube Growth Forecast for Asia

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2-wheeler Lube Growth Forecast for Asia
Commuter drive for motorcyclists through a flooded street during heavy rains at Kurla in Mumbai, India. © Manoej Paateel

Asia-Pacific accounted for close to 80% of about 1.6 to 1.7 million tons of worldwide motorcycle engine oil demand in 2021 – led by India, Indonesia and China – and will experience the highest volumetric growth in such demand out to 2026, consultancy Kline & Co. projected.

In 2021, consumed for almost 1.1 million tons of motorcycle oils, Sushmita Dutta, a project manager in Kline’s energy practice, said during an Aug. 23 online webinar. The firm’s data included oils used in motorcycles, scooters and mopeds. Under the most likely electrification scenario – which accounts for some challenges relating to implementation and transition to electric vehicles – the company projects the region’s demand for two-wheeler oils to reach close to 1.2 million tons in 2026. Under a rapid electrification scenario – which envisions more rapid increase in EV sales and a transition to green mobility – the region’s demand is projected closer to around 1.3 million tons in 2026.

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The company found that India held the largest share of the motorcycle oils market in 2021, and also had the highest share of the two-wheeler vehicle market, which includes scooters and mopeds, Indonesia was second, and China third in MCO demand last year, followed by Brazil. Those four countries accounted for nearly half of global MCO demand in 2021, Dutta noted. Other countries in Asia-Pacific or Southeast Asia among the top countries in demand were Thailand in fifth place, Vietnam in sixth, the Philippines in seventh, and Malaysia in twelfth place.

Among product types, four-strike motorcycle oils accounted for the vast majority of consumption. She noted that demand for two-stroke motorcycles is extremely small and rapidly decreasing. “Over the five years, we think that 2T will exit some of the markets by 2026,” she said. Other types included two-stroke oils, fork and suspension oil, grease and gear oil.

Kline found that synthetic motorcycle oils dominated primarily in developed nations in North America and Europe last year, much more than in Asia-Pacific. “Synthetics have the highest penetration in the European region, followed by North America,” Dutta said. “When we look at the absolute volume of synthetics in different regions, Asia-Pacific, despite having a lower share, accounts for a higher share of overall synthetic consumption globally. “

Overall, synthetic MCO consumption is on the upswing. “We have seen significant growth in consumption of synthetic lubricants,” Dutta noted. “Two years ago overall synthetic lubricants had about one-quarter share of the market. Now its share has increased to about 30% and over the next five years, the share may be higher – closer to 40%.”

Among individual countries, synthetic oils accounted for more than 50% of MCO demand in the United States, Germany and Spain. In most countries in Asia-Pacific, synthetics made up around 10% or less of such demand last year.

In Asia-Pacific, motorcycles accounted for about 50% of MCO demand, scooters accounted for more than 25% and mopeds for the remainder. Dutta said that in Asia, significant MCO demand is arising from the use of mopeds. “Asia is the only region that has a higher share of mopeds,” she noted. “We still find significant sizable shares of mopeds in countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.”

Among international oil company suppliers in key countries in regions covered by the study – Asia-Pacific, South America, North America and Europe – in 2021, BP led in MCO demand, followed by Shell, ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies and Chevron. Among national oil companies, India’s Hindustan Petroleum was in the lead, slightly ahead of Pertamina, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, PTT Lubricants and Sinopec.

The top original equipment manufacturer brands were Honda, followed by Yamalube. Dutta noted that almost every OEM has its own genuine oil today, but the two Japanese OEMs had much larger shares last year.

The top national oil company suppliers included a mix of Asian companies – Hindustan Petroleum, Pertamina, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, PTT Lubricants and Sinopec.

Other companies that specialized in the MCO market and sported sizeable shares included Motul, PT Federal, Monarch, Savita Oil, Gulf Oil, Vibra and Iconic.

Dutta said an interesting development in Asian countries is the increasing usage of higher quality MCO products. “We are seeing this trend in India, Indonesia, China – increased usage of 10Ws and semi-synthetics, and this is mostly driven by the OEMs’ recommendations of these lighter viscosities and high-performance products,” she said. This is mostly driven by the OEMs’ recommendations, and by the efforts of lubricant companies to educate consumers and mechanics to consider using higher quality products instead of cheaper, lower quality products, she added.

She noted that the population of electric two-wheelers is gradually growing in some Asian countries. “China definitely has a significantly high share of electric vehicles, but interestingly we have also heard about 10% of two-wheeler sales are electric vehicles,” Dutt said. “And countries like India and Indonesia have very ambitious plans for electrification of the two-wheeler parc. So definitely electric two-wheelers are going to grow and cause a dent to the market.” The study is titled “Lubricants for Motorcycles, Scooters and Mopeds: Global Market Analysis and Opportunities.”

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Asia    Automotive Lubricants    China    Finished Lubricants    India    Indonesia    Japan    Market Topics    Motorcycle Oils    Region    Southeast Asia