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Global Lithium Grease Market - Outlook and Forecast 2022-2027
The grease market is expected to witness significant growth, reaching USD 4.5 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 3.57% during the forecast period. Grease plays a crucial role in providing lubrication for mechanical parts and components, reducing friction, minimizing wear, increasing efficiency, and extending the service life of various equipment. It acts as a sealant, preventing leakage and keeping contaminants out, while also forming a protective film against rust. Grease finds applications in a wide range of lubrication operations.
The changing market dynamics are driven by the growing demand for high-performance lubricants that enhance efficiency and overall performance. Currently, metallic soap-based greases dominate the market. However, due to fluctuating raw material prices and stringent government regulations, consumers are shifting towards organic soap greases, particularly organic thickeners designed for high-temperature applications.
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USD 3.6 billion in 2020
Type, Base-Oil, End-Use, and Geography
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The lithium grease segment held the largest market share in 2021. However, the rising demand for lithium in electric vehicles has led to increased prices of raw materials for lithium grease. As a result, the market share of lithium grease is declining. Polyurea greases, being organic and offering several advantages over lithium greases, are gaining importance. Additionally, polyurea greases have the potential for standardized manufacturing procedures, making them a cost-effective alternative to lithium complex greases. Moreover, polyurea greases are environmentally friendly as they are derived from organic components, distinguishing them from other metallic greases.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is poised to experience robust GDP growth, making it the fastest-growing region globally. APAC comprises emerging economies such as China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Factors such as large and youthful populations, substantial investments in physical and digital infrastructure, low-cost labor, and rising incomes contribute to the region’s continuous growth. The automotive, manufacturing, food and beverage, and construction industries are flourishing in APAC, with China and India serving as significant automotive markets.
In recent years, there has been increased concern about global warming and environmental pollution. Many countries have implemented strict regulations regarding the use of chemical substances, including grease. Governing bodies worldwide have imposed rules on grease due to its environmental impact. Grease consists of base oil, thickener, and additives, with most types being derived from mineral oil. Mineral oil-based greases pose a considerable threat to the environment due to their high eco-toxicity and limited biodegradability.
Proper management of grease is essential because once used, it is not recycled. Waste grease should be stored in appropriate containers away from drains to prevent mixing with water or sewage, which can lead to pH imbalances and foaming issues in water bodies. Improper disposal of grease can cause water pollution, harm aquatic life, and pose health hazards to humans.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including type, base-oil, end-use, and geography.
Segmentation by Type
Segmentation by Base Oil
Segmentation by End-Use
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Russia, Rest of Europe
APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Rest of APAC
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Rest of Latin America
Middle East & Africa – South Africa, Iran, UAE, Rest of MEA
The metallic segment is projected to be the largest in the grease market, while the organic grease market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% during the forecast period.
Among the metallic soaps used as thickeners, the metallic soap type thickener is currently the most widely used worldwide. Metallic soap-based grease can be categorized into straight, mixed, and complex types, further sub-categorized based on the metals used, such as lithium, aluminum, calcium, and sodium. The straight metallic soap thickener exhibits different properties depending on the metal used. Lithium soap, the dominant and cost-effective among metallic thickeners, possesses excellent resistance to water and breakdown, a high melting point, and good lubricity. Mixed greases combine two or more metallic soaps to create a grease that combines some desired properties of each soap. Complex soaps are produced by reacting alkali with a blend of a monobasic acid and a dibasic acid.
Organic thickened grease offers superior long-life stability, corrosion protection, and excellent pumpability. Thickeners such as polyurea are reaction products of di-isocyanate combined with mono and/or diamines. The demand for organic grease is expected to increase in the coming years due to advantages such as environmental friendliness, low toxicity, and suitability for high-temperature applications.
Mineral oil-based greases represent the largest segment, while the bio-based grease market is expected to witness the fastest growth.
Mineral oil, which is a liquid by-product of crude oil refining, is manufactured through various refining steps including extraction, crystallization, purification by acid treatment, and hydrogenation. Mineral oil is currently the most commonly used base oil in grease production due to its excellent lubricating properties. One significant advantage of mineral oils is their solubility with a wide range of additives, enhancing the overall performance of grease. They are also compatible with many grease thickener systems. Moreover, mineral oil is cost-effective compared to synthetic oil.
The automotive industry serves as the largest and fastest-growing end-user segment in the grease market.
Grease finds applications in the automotive, general manufacturing, construction, mining, and other industries. The rapid growth in the automotive sector is expected to drive the global grease market. Automotive grease is utilized in various parts such as CV joints, gear assemblies, and electrically operated mechanisms like windows, sunroofs, and seats. It provides lubrication, protecting vehicle components from friction and wear. Grease exhibits higher consistency than other automotive lubricants like motor oil and is also used for maintenance in older automobiles. Automotive greases safeguard against wear, oxidation, and rust, thereby extending the lifespan of mechanisms in these applications. The properties of grease used in vehicles depend on factors such as the specific application, load, and environmental conditions in which the vehicle operates.
The competitive landscape in the global grease market is currently becoming more intense. Vendors are facing challenges due to the fluctuating prices of raw materials, particularly lithium, which is a crucial component in the production of lithium grease.
Key players in the grease market include multinational companies such as Shell plc (UK), ExxonMobil Corporation (US), Chevron Corporation (US), Sinopec Corporation (China), and Total Energies (France). These major players are focused on innovation, product diversification, and expanding into new markets to maintain their competitive edge.
The forecast period for the grease market extends from 2022 to 2027, with the base year being 2021. The market is segmented based on factors such as type, base-oil, end-user, and geography for the specified years. The report takes a comprehensive approach to analyze the grease industry, providing customers with valuable insights to effectively assess the market.
Key companies profiled in this report include Shell plc, ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Sinopec Corporation, Axel Christiernsson, BEL-RAY, BHARAT PETROLEUM, CASTROL LIMITED, ENEOS Corporation, ENI, FUCHS, GULF OIL INDIA, HP Lubricants, IDEMITSU KOSAN Co., KLUBER LUBRICATION, LUKOIL, ORLEN OIL, PETRO CANADA, PETRONAS, PHILLIPS 66, PT PERTAMINA, ROSNEFT LUBRICANTS, SKF, Valvoline.
Key Questions Answered
What is the projected market size and growth rate of the global grease market by 2027?
The global grease market is anticipated to reach a market size of USD 4.5 billion by 2027, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.57% during the forecast period.
What are the key driving factors in the global grease market?
The global grease market is driven by several factors, including the growing industrial sector in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), the increasing adoption of automation in industries, the rising demand for sustainability standards, and the growing demand for polyurea grease.
Which type of grease is expected to be in high demand in 2027?
Currently, lithium grease holds the largest market share, accounting for over 70% of the global grease market. However, due to the rising prices of raw materials, there could be a decline in the market share of lithium grease. On the other hand, polyurea grease, being an organic alternative, is gaining importance in the market due to its various advantages over lithium grease.
Who are the major players in the global grease market?
The major players in the global grease market include Shell PLC, ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, and Sinopec Corporation. These companies play a significant role in the industry and have a substantial market presence.
What is the growth rate of the Lithium Grease market?
According to the research, the lithium grease market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during the period from 2022 to 2027.