A new report, Opportunities in Lubricants: North American Market Analysis (Industrial Oils and Fluids), by global market research and management consulting firm Kline, shows that overall U.S. consumption of industrial oils and fluids is an estimated 1,200 to 1,300 million gallon industry.
Process oil is the leading product category, accounting for slightly less than half of the market. General industrial oils, which include products such as hydraulic fluids, turbine, and circulating oils, as well as compressor and and gear oils, ranks second in consumption with almost one-fourth of the consumption.
Industrial engine oil, which is the third-leading category, is closely followed by metalworking fluid.
“It has been observed that major oil companies focus more on large-volume and high-margin products whereas specialty products manufacturers have created a niche for themselves,” says Sushmita Dutta, a Project Manager in Kline’s Energy Practice.
“ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, and Philips 66 are relatively strong in general industrial oils and industrial engine oils. Whereas metalworking fluids are the core business area for specialty suppliers, such as Houghton, Fuchs, and Henkel Technologies,” adds Dutta.
Rubber process oil is the leading process oil type, and hydraulic fluid is the leading general industrial oil in the United States.
Marine engine oil leads among the industrial engine oils, and removal fluid is the leading metalworking fluid. The major types of metalworking fluids covered in this report are removal fluids, forming fluids, protecting fluids and treating fluids.
The rubber and plastics industry, with roughly one-fifth of the total demand, is the leading end‑use industry for industrial oils and fluids in the United States. The electrical equipment and energy transmission industry is second, followed closely by the chemicals and allied products industry. These industries heavily consume process oils, which explains their highest share in the industrial lubricants market.
General industrial oils, as the name suggests, have a more generic application and are used across the industrial sector in a variety of manufacturing applications.
The industrial lubricants market is highly fragmented and competitive. The market is quite diverse as lubricant consumption, maintenance, and purchasing practices vary with application and end-use industry. While these variations add to the complexity of this segment, they also provide opportunities to the suppliers for product and services differentiation.
Consequently, the market is served by a variety of suppliers that include major oil companies, large specialty manufacturers, small specialty firms, and distributors.
To read the full report, please click here.