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Global Marine Lubricants Market - Outlook and Forecast 2022-2027
The marine lubricants market is experiencing steady growth, with a projected CAGR of over 3% from 2021 to 2027. It is expected to reach a value of USD 5.27 billion by 2027, up from USD 4.45 billion in 2021. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing demand for high-performance marine lubricants globally. Concerns about reducing carbon footprints and ensuring sustainability, along with the introduction of regulations such as the 2013 VGP regulation and IMO 2020 regulation, have driven the adoption of environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) based on PAOs. These lubricants help marine operators comply with regulations while reducing the carbon footprint of the shipping industry.
Europe and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions, which already have well-established marine lubricant markets, are expected to witness high demand for high-performance marine lubricant products in the forecast period. This is due to the growing adoption of 40 BN cylinder oil in marine equipment and the high volume of marine trade in these regions. As a result, vendors in these regions have significant opportunities for growth during the forecast period. The global marine lubricants market has undergone significant changes due to shifting customer needs and preferences. The demand for higher-performance marine lubricants and the transition from conventional feedstock to modern feedstock, such as base oil and additives, to produce high-quality base stock, have reshaped the market landscape.
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USD 4.5 billion in 2020
Base Oil, Application, End-Use, and Geography
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By 2027, the global marine lubricants market is expected to ship around 2,197 kilotons of products. Marine lubricants play a crucial role in lubricating various equipment used in shipping, including air compressors, ship engines, piston rings, roller bearings, compressor blades, enclosed gear, and gas turbine systems. They enhance the overall efficiency of these engines and equipment operating in coastal areas. Additionally, marine lubricants protect machines from rust, corrosion, moisture, oxidation, and breakdown, enabling them to function effectively in harsh conditions.
The demand for bio-based lubricants in the marine oil industry is gaining momentum due to concerns about controlling ocean pollution and reducing environmental footprint. Various policies and standards, such as the Vessel General Permit (VGP) in North America and the EU Ecolabel in Europe, mandate the use of bio-lubricants in marine vessels. Bio-based lubricants not only reduce the health risks for employees but also have minimal impacts on the environment in case of spills, protecting aquatic life. In response to consumers’ increasing focus on health and sustainability, industry vendors are actively sourcing marine lubricants derived from renewable sources.
With a growing emphasis on reducing engine pollution, improving fuel economy, and increasing engine oil durability, there is an increasing demand for group II and group III base oil for formulating marine lubricants. Although group I base oil has been used for many years in the production of marine lubricants and trunk piston engine oil (TPEO) for medium-speed, four-stroke engines, its demand is declining in the global market. This is primarily due to the low thermal and oxidative stability of group I base stocks, which makes them less suitable for modern engines operating under severe conditions. Complying with regulations becomes challenging for marine operators using group I base oil.
One of the major challenges faced by the marine lubricant market is the increasing price of raw materials, particularly base oil. Base oil is the primary feedstock used in the production of marine lubricants. The prices of these raw materials have been rising, mainly due to disruptions in the supply chain caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Sanctions on Russia have also limited the supply of lubricants. Additionally, high crude oil prices contribute to the elevated costs of base oil, additives, and transportation, leading to higher prices for marine lubricants.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including base oil, application, end-use, and geography.
Segmentation by Base Oil
Mineral Base Oil
Synthetic Base Oil
Segmentation by Application
Motors & Auxiliaries
Segmentation by End-Use
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Italy, Germany, Finland, Norway, Netherland, Rest of Europe
APAC – China, Japan, South Korea, Rest of APAC
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay
Middle East & Africa – South Africa, Egypt, Rest of the Middle East & Africa
The marine lubricant market is categorized into three segments based on base oil: mineral, synthetic, and bio-based. Mineral base oil is currently the most widely used feedstock for marine lubricants. However, synthetic base oil is expected to experience the highest growth due to its superior properties compared to mineral oil. Synthetic base oils have high flash points, can withstand extreme temperatures, are environmentally friendly, and offer twice the service life of mineral oil. In addition, synthetic marine lubricants enhance vessel productivity, promote fuel economy, and reduce operational costs by extending oil change intervals and minimizing maintenance expenses.
In terms of application, the marine lubricant market is divided into six segments: engine system, gear system, motor & auxiliaries, hydraulic system, air compressor, and others. Engine systems held the largest market share in 2021 and are expected to continue leading the market in the forecast period. This is primarily due to their presence in vessels of all sizes, from large to small and mid-size ships. The engine system is a crucial component of marine vessels as it ensures smooth functioning and protects against wear and tear, friction, and breakdown. It also powers all types of marine vessels, from water sports ships to naval vessels.
The end-use industry is divided into five segments: bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, general cargo, and others. Bulk carriers held the highest market share in 2021 and are projected to maintain their dominance in the forecast period. This is mainly attributed to the increasing number of bulk carrier ships that require significant quantities of lubricants for various maintenance purposes, such as lubricating rolling bearings, threaded spindles, hinges, and engines. Factors such as rising seaborne trade, urbanization, and investment in the shipping industry by developing economies contribute to the growing demand for bulk carrier ships.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is the largest and fastest-growing market for marine lubricants. APAC is spearheaded by China, Japan, and South Korea, where commercial vessels, tankers, general cargo ships, and container ships drive the demand for marine lubricant products. The region’s extensive coastal and inland waterways contribute to the high consumption of cylinder oil, trunk piston engine oil, system oil, gear oil, and stern tube lubricants.
Europe ranks as the second-largest market for marine lubricants due to steady economic growth, robust shipbuilding infrastructure, and higher consumer disposable income. The region excels in innovation and technology, producing complex vessels like cruise ships, dredgers, and mega-yachts. Additionally, the temporary use of coal-fired power plants, commodity trade growth between Asia and Europe, and other factors are expected to further boost the shipping industry and consequently drive the marine lubricants market.
North America holds the third-largest market share, accounting for 9.26% of the global market value. The shipbuilding industry plays a significant role in driving the marine lubricant market in this region. The United States is a key player in the global marine lubricant market, attracting major manufacturers due to its abundant base oil feedstock availability and well-developed transportation infrastructure. Chevron Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Cortec Corporation, Valvoline, and Penrite Oil are prominent players in the U.S. marine lubricants market.
The global marine lubricant market exhibits a moderate level of fragmentation, and this trend is anticipated to intensify throughout the forecast period. The market comprises a substantial number of both international and domestic vendors operating across various geographical regions. Key players in the global marine lubricant market include TotalEnergies (France), Shell (Netherlands), Exxon Mobil Corporation (US), Chevron Corporation (US), Fuchs (Germany), and Liqui Moly (Germany), among others. The market is characterized by high entry barriers due to mandatory policies and standards aimed at improving energy efficiency and consumption in marine equipment. As a result, significant changes are expected in terms of raw materials, technology, and ingredient composition within marine lubricant products.
Key companies profiled in this report include Chevron Corporation, Castrol, ExxonMobil Corporation, Shell, TotalEnergies, Addinol, Cortec Corporation, FUCHS, Kluber Lubrication, Lubriplate Lubricants Company, Liqui Moly, Motul, Metalube, Pentagonlubricants, Penrite Oil, Panolin AG, Repsol, Sinopec, Vickers Oil, Valvoline Inc., Vinayak Oil.
Recent Industry Developments
In September 2019, Chevron Corporation introduced a range of high-performance gear oils specifically designed for marine clutched gear systems. These gear oils provide excellent protection against extreme pressure, heavy loads, and shocks.
In June 2021, Chevron Corporation collaborated with Akwa Group to establish a joint venture aimed at expanding their presence in various African ports, including Niger, Gabon, Senegal, Benin, Tunisia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This strategic partnership seeks to leverage the strengths of both companies and further enhance their operations in the African market.
In June 2022, Shell and CMA CGM Group announced a significant agreement wherein Shell will serve as the supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to CMA CGM Group as marine fuel starting in the latter half of 2023. This strategic arrangement not only supports the shift towards cleaner energy sources but also aligns with the shared goal of decarbonization within the maritime industry.
In January 2021, Shell signed a notable agreement with Carnival Corporation, a prominent cruise line operator, to provide high-performance marine lubricants for its cruise ships. This partnership ensures that Carnival Corporation’s fleet will benefit from advanced lubrication solutions, promoting efficient and reliable performance of their marine engines and machinery.
Key Questions Answered
What is the size of the global marine lubricants market?
The global marine lubricants market is valued at USD 4.45 billion in 2021. Factors such as the demand for higher-performance marine lubricants and the transition from conventional feedstock to modern feedstock (such as base oil and additives) to produce high-quality base stock have contributed to the growth of the global marine lubricants market.
What is the projected market size of the global Marine Lubricants Market by 2027?
The global marine lubricants market is expected to reach a market size of USD 5.37 billion by 2027.
What is the growth rate of the Marine Lubricants Market?
The global marine lubricants market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.19% from 2022 to 2027.
Which region dominates the global marine lubricants market?
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region dominates the global marine lubricants market. It is the largest and fastest-growing region in terms of demand. The high operation of commercial vessels, container ships, and recreational boats, as well as the penetration of coastal and inland waterways, contribute to the significant demand for marine lubricant products in the APAC region.
What are the key driving factors in the Marine Lubricants Market?
The increasing demand for International Maritime Organization (IMO)-compliant marine fuel and the growing momentum of bio-based marine lubricants are key driving factors in the global marine lubricants market.
Who are the key players in the global Marine Lubricants Market?
Chevron Corporation, Castrol, ExxonMobil Corporation, Shell, and TotalEnergies are among the key players in the global marine lubricants market.