A recent report suggests that the United States will increase its lubricant use gradually over the next few years.
By 2018, it is estimated that the country will reach an annual demand of as much as 2.5bn gallons.
The expected increase, described in a paper by RnR Market Research, should be gradual, with a rise of less than one percent each year. Even this modest growth is welcome, however, after the losses suffered by the lubricant industry from 2003 to 2013.
The report saw greater lubricant use resulting from improvements in the economy, together with increased manufacturing activity. The main US markets in which demand is expected to surge are heavy-duty trucks, construction, gas and oil production, and premium lubricants.
Increasing sales will probably be restricted by improvements in machinery, with greater efficiency and a reduced need for frequent oil replacement expected in the future.
In the automobile market, longer-lasting lubricants that are of higher quality are expected to increase in popularity, which could reduce the overall volume of sales. As more cars are produced that require high quality oils with low viscosity, sales of products like Mobil 1 New Life 0W/40 should increase, as such lubricants perform well in a variety of driving conditions.
With the cost of natural gas predicted to remain relatively low until 2018, industries such as manufacturing should benefit. The use of green energy sources is also expected to increase, with wind power continuing to replace coal. If the report proves true, products such as Mobil SHC 630, which is designed to lubricate industrial gearboxes, including those in wind turbines, should see a rise in sales.