Asia-Pacific is now the leading region for finished lubricant demand, according to a new report by Kline. Emphasis on fuel economy continues to drive the use of synthetics and other lighter viscosity grade lubricants for passenger car motor oil (PCMO) in the region, which accounts for 40 percent of the global market.

In China, synthetic oils have grown at more than 10 percent annually since 2013. In Malaysia, the consumption of both semi-synthetic and full-synthetic PCMOs grew during 2014, capturing an almost 40-percent market share. Semi-synthetics are more popular than full-synthetic lubricants, accounting for about 30 percent of the PCMO segment.

Most consumers in Malaysia follow the guidelines of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), who recommend multigrade products. The two major viscosity grades in the market are 20W and 15W, followed by 10W. While demand for 5W is low due to the hot climate and the high price, its share is forecast to increase, as consumers gradually move to lower viscosities.

PCMO holds a market share of about 68 percent in the Malaysian consumer lubricant segment. The overall production of passenger cars in 2014 has increased, but factory-fill lubricants capture less than 10 percent of the total market. This is because out-of-warranty vehicles tend to extend their oil drain intervals due to the increasing costs.

Consumption of consumer automotive lubricants in China is split between PCMO and 2T/4T, together with a small quantity of other lubricants, including ATF, gear oil and grease. Moreover, consumers are increasingly purchasing motor oil online and using a local repair shop to make the oil change for them. The online distribution channel in China is therefore expected to play a vital role in establishing an online presence for lubricant suppliers across the region.

The Asia-Pacific countries examined by the Global Lubricants: Market Analysis and Assessment report include China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Many of these countries are considered rising stars in the global lubricant consumption market, with a forecast annual growth of about 3 percent on average for the next five years.

For more information, visit www.KlineGroup.com.