Increased Adoption of Bio-Based Oil to Fuel the Global Marine Lubricants Market During the Forecast Period, 2019–2026

Tue, 04 June 2019 5:30

Lubricants reduce friction between two or more moving parts. Additionally, they reduce corrosion, noise, and rust. Marine lubricants are used in the shipping industry to protect engines & equipment and enhance the performance of the system. Marine lubricants possess exceptional characteristics that enable the engine to work at high temperatures, with improved efficiency. 

Lubricants are used to prevent friction, noise, rust, and to extend the lifespan of machinery and equipment. Marine lubricants are generally used in the shipping industry. Various marine lubricants, including engine oils, compressor oils, gear oils, and piston oils are used to enhance the performance of the system. Different types and grades of oils are available for several marine applications, depending upon particular working condition and requirements of the machinery itself.

Regional Insights

By region, the global marine lubricants market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America and the Middle East & Africa (LAMEA).


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The Asia Pacific marine lubricants market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. Until World War II, global economic growth was bipolar, and most of the international trade was between North America and Europe. This bipolar system splintered in the 1970s when countries such as India and China started to expand into the global economy. China is expected to emerge as the largest country-level market for marine lubricants with an anticipated CAGR of 2.2%. China is way ahead of any Asian country and owns 7 out of the 10 busiest ports in the world, including the ports of Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou Harbor and Qingdao. Massive export numbers, vast marine infrastructure, and aggressive government policies regarding marine transportation & naval presence are the key factors driving the growth of the China marine lubricants market. Apart from China and India, South-East Asian countries are witnessing rapid economic growth with enhancements in the railway, road, airport, water, energy, and port infrastructure and other rural projects. Cumulatively, these factors drive international trade activities in Asia Pacific.

The North America market can be sub-segmented into the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Among these, the U.S. is a prominent contributor to the North America market while Mexico is expected to witness healthy growth in the future. The North America marine lubricants market is expected to register substantial growth, owing to the presence of a large industrial base, huge export numbers, and advanced marine infrastructure.

Europe and LAMEA are expected to exhibit healthy growth during the forecast period, on account of the growing maritime sector and shipping industry. According to Maritime UK, the maritime sector and supported 957,300 employees in 2015.

Segmental Insights

The global marine lubricants market can be segmented by oil type, ship type, and application. Based on oil type, the market can be segmented into mineral, synthetic, and bio-based. The mineral oil lubricants segment holds the largest market share, owing to the low cost and adequate performance of these lubricants. Mineral-oil-based lubricants offer advantages such as better solubility with additives and enhanced compatibility with seals. Furthermore, the marine sector has shown a substantial interest in mineral-oil-based lubricants due to their easy applicability in almost all marine applications, which further highlights their suitability for the maritime industry. Key players offer a wide range of mineral oil, bio-based oil, and synthetic oil based lubricants. For instance, in September 2016, Shell introduced the cylinder lubricant, Shell Alexia 140, which protects engine components at lower lubricant feed rates. 

Based on ship type, the marine lubricants market can be segmented into commercial, industrial, and others. Commercial ships include general cargo ships, bulk carriers, container ships, fishing vessels, and specialized ships. Commercial ships are the largest consumers of marine lubricants, and thus, the commercial segment is expected to remain dominant during the forecast period.  According to the UNCTAD review of ‘Maritime Transport 2017’, commercial shipping fleet witnessed 3.15% growth in 2016 as compared to 3.5% in 2015. South Korea, China, and Japan are the three key contributors to the growth of the commercial shipping fleet, and they together built 91.8% of the world gross tonnage in 2016.

Based on application, the market can be segmented into the engine, hydraulic, compressor, and others. Engine oil is pegged to be the largest segment, followed by hydraulic and compressor oil. Engine oils help extend the lifespan of the engine and components and reduce the maintenance cost and downtime. The entire range of engine lubricants includes trunk piston oil, system oil, cylinder oil, and others.

Marine Lubricants Market Segmentation

By Oil Type

  • Mineral
  • Synthetic
  • Bio-based

By Ship Type

  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Other

By Application

  • Engine
  • Hydraulic
  • Compressor
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Australia
    • Rest of Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Colombia
    • Rest of Latin America
  • MEA
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa
    • UAE
    • Rest of LAMEA