Overall lubricant consumption in India is projected to grow at an annual rate of 2.5 percent over the next five years, according to Kline's "Opportunities in Lubricants: India Market Analysis," a comprehensive assessment of the Indian lubricants market focusing on key trends, developments, challenges, business opportunities and major suppliers.

Kline expects the consumer segment to grow the fastest at a projected 6.6 percent per year, while the commercial and industrial lubricant segments will exhibit a moderate growth of 2.3 and 1.6 percent per year, respectively. In general, the overall subdued economic growth of the Indian economy will continue to affect the growth of commercial automotive lubricants, although economic growth is expected to pick up after 2015.

Ranking third after the United States and China, India remains one of the most important lubricant markets. Historically, India has been one of the fastest growing major economies. However, since 2010, the economic growth rate has successively dropped from 9.3 percent in 2010-2011 to about 5.3 percent in 2013-2014.

Automobile production in India has experienced a strong growth of 14 percent from 2007-2008 to 2012-2013. Like most Asian countries, India has a large percentage of two-wheelers, accounting for more than three-fourths of the total automobile production in 2012-2013. India is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and exported 12 percent of them in 2012-2013. Consequently, motorcycle oil is the largest product category in the consumer automotive lubricants segment, with about 60 percent of the consumer automotive lubricants. Overall, consumer automotive lubricants account for 13 percent of the total market.

The market for commercial automotive lubricants declined in 2013 due to the retarded economic growth, as well as its impact on such sectors as logistics, construction, mining and agriculture. In India, more than half of the commercial automotive lubricant market is controlled by nationalized oil companies.

Industrial lubricants is the largest market segment in India, with more than 54 percent of the total market. Power generation, chemicals, automotive and other manufacturing, railways, marine, and metals are the leading end-user industries, accounting for nearly 80 percent of industrial lubricant consumption.

India is a huge market for process oils as well, with 53 percent of the overall industrial lubricant demand. Rapid expansion of the power generation and distribution infrastructure has also created a strong demand for transformer oils in India. Industrial engine oils (including marine and railroad), metalworking fluids and hydraulic fluids are other important product categories.

The per capita lubricant consumption in India is quite low compared to developed countries. However, a comparison with other developing countries like China and Indonesia reveals significant potential in India for growth in lubricant consumption.

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