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Grease is typically a semi-solid compound formed by the deposition of thickening agent such as soap, clay, and silica in fluid lubricant. It is in fact, a chemical combination of thickener, oil, and additives. Additives in the grease are used to enhance desirable properties, suppress undesirable properties, or to add new properties to increase its working efficiency.

Grease offers various advantages such as water resistance, lubrication to the moving surface under gravity, pressure, or centrifugal action. It provides protection against rust and corrosion, withstands high and low temperature, prevents contamination, any wear tear loss, and reduces noise and power consumption. It is also used in bushings, bearing axles and most of the moving parts of machinery and automobiles.

Because of its beneficial attributes, it is highly desired and used in various end user industries such as mining, general manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, construction, railways, off-highways, and others.

The global grease market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period.

MARKET DRIVERS:

The growth of this market is attributed towards major pertaining factors including the growing demand of grease for high performance lubrication solution in automotive, general manufacturing and various other industries worldwide, the rapid growth in the industrial sector, the rapidly growing technological improvements in the quality of grease, and the rise in automation in various industries. Furthermore, the increasing demand of grease for the construction industry applications, the growing expenditure in strategic developments such as R&D activities by players, the increased demand of metallic soap thickener and the worldwide spurring shipbuilding business are anticipated to foster the growth of market.

Additionally, the advent of high performing biodegradable greases whose additives are either synthetic ester or vegetable oil based, and which degrades sooner compared to its mineral oil-based alternatives and do not release environmentally harmful residues after use has led to the tremendous demand of grease in various industries and has fueled the expansion of the overall grease market as because it also complies with the environmental regulations that are set globally or regionally.

Moreover, the high shear stability in grease ensures the high performance of engine oils and protects engines from wear and tear. In passenger vehicles, grease ensures high fuel economy and reduces emissions, frictions, and the probability of damage caused by wear and tear. Consequently, grease ensures the proper functioning of the engine components in vehicles and is increasingly used in the automotive industry, thereby propelling the growth of the market.

Furthermore, benefits such as extended durability and shelf life of products coupled with additional factors such as the increasing number of upcoming construction projects in North America and Asia-Pacific regions, the product application scope in industries such as wind turbines, the rising demand for low viscosity fluids in automobile industry, increasing application in marine vessels operating in harsh weather conditions, the establishment of new plants and capacity expansions, growing investments to launch and establish new grease manufacturing plants, the growing development in automotive industry and the production of EVs and Hybrid vehicles across the globe will further enhance the growth of the market.

However, fluctuation in exchange rates, volatile oil prices, development of self-lubricating equipment, unavailability of raw materials, insufficient knowledge regarding right product grades among consumers, high replacement time, rise in crude oil prices, complications associated with grease procedures and lack of standards, characteristics, and testing methods are a few factors among others that negatively impact the market.

More importantly, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, a decline in growth of the grease market is anticipated for 2020. Countries had taken preventive measures, such as social distancing at an early stage, to stop the spread of the virus. The travel bans and lockdown imposed in most of the major cities have reduced the production of oil. However, most of the businesses are starting to re-open, which is expected to generate demand for grease and contribute to the recovery of market from the start of 2021. 

GREASE MARKET SEGMENTATION:

By Thickener Type:

  • Metallic Soap Thickener
    • Lithium
    • Calcium
    • Sodium
    • Aluminum
    • Others
  • Non-soap Thickener
  • Inorganic
    • Clay
    • Silica
  • Others

By Base Oil:

  • Mineral oil
  • Synthetic oil
  • Bio-based oil

By End-Use Industry:

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • General Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Metal production
  • Power generation
  • Food & Beverage
  • Others

By Region:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

REGIONAL INSIGHT:

The Asia-Pacific region is the largest and the fastest growing regional market for grease followed by North America and Europe. The region is also projected to witness steep rise and maintain its position in the next few years in the market owing to factors such as the increasing demand from the various end use verticals such as automotive, general manufacturing etc., the high expenditure in strategic developments such as R&D activities and expansion in the region. Apart from this, the growing end-user industries including the construction and manufacturing industries, the growing infrastructure and increasing participation of foreign direct investors in the region, the rapidly growing automotive industry as a result of the increasing production of automobiles and related components in the region, the rising demand of metallic soap thickener from the end users and technological improvements in the quality of grease will further aid to the growth of region. The major contributors in the region include India, China, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and Malaysia.

The Europe region holds a significant share in the grease market and is anticipated to witness substantial growth in the upcoming years in this market as a result of the combination of a few factors including the increasing demand for grease from pharmaceuticals and nutraceutical segments in the region, the increasing disposable income of consumers in the region, the presence of well-established market players in the region and the growing demand for natural cosmetics with good quality products in the region etc. The major contributors in the region include Germany and the U.K.

FEW KEY PLAYERS IN GREASE MARKET:

  • Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas)
  • The DOW Chemical Company
  • JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation
  • The Chevron Corporation
  • Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd.
  • Sinopec Corporation
  • Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
  • Lukeoil
  • Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd.
  • Total S.A.
  • Fuchs Petrolub SE
  • ExxonMobil Corporation
  • BP Plc
  • Axel Christiernsson
  • Dow Corning Ltd.
  • Axel Americas LLC
  • China Petrochemical Corporation
  • DowDuPont
  • CITGO Petroliam Corporation
  • Harrison Manufacturing
  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
  • Castrol
  • Other Players

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS:

  • In October 2020, leading industrial and automotive supplier Schaeffler India’s Automotive Aftermarket division launched a brand-new lubricant product range under the Schaeffler TruPower brand. It includes the complete range of engine oil, transmission oil, grease, coolant, hydraulic oil and shock absorber oil.
  • In December 2020, Champion Oil, an internationally recognized industry leader in performance lubricants, additives, chemicals, and motor oils for more than 65 years, introduced a new improved specialty-engineered Disc Brake Wheel Bearing Grease. The blue colored grease is said to be capable of operations from minus 40°F to 350°F, but has a dropping high point of more than 500°F.

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