As electric vehicles threaten to drain away the lifeblood of the lubricants industry—engine oil accounts for about 40% of the market—many companies are looking for ways to rebalance their portfolios for long-term success, said Suzan Jagger, vice president for oil markets, midstream and downstream with IHS Markit.
Lube companies are investing in new product technologies as well as offsetting pressures in automotive segments by shifting their focus to high-value industrial products, including greases, she told Lubes’n’Greases. But the grease market is also changing and comes with its own challenges that companies must understand and prepare for.
“Overall the global grease market is relatively flat,” commented Johan Stureson, CEO of Sweden-based Axel Christiernsson. The largest demand is in China, which together with Europe and North America accounts for three-quarters of the global market.