Arthur D. LittleArthur D. Little

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Can Group 1 base oil come back?

Can Group 1 base oil come back?

The impact of the lower crude prices on the global base oil markets

The global lubricants and base oil markets have had a challenging start to the new millennium. Annual growth has, on average, been well below global GDP growth due to technology improvements in transportation and industry. Furthermore, changing standards are leading to a gradual replacement of Group I-based products to Group II- and III-based products, resulting in plant closures around the world. However, the lower oil prices might lead to temporary relief for Group I producers and an additional boost for the entire industry.

The global economy is benefiting from declining oil prices due to the higher economic multiplier in the typically poorer oil importing countries. Consequently, base oil consumption in the transportation sector, as an example, will increase through both growing purchasing power (new and second-hand car sales) and increasing car usage. Even though transportation fuel is a commodity with a low elasticity of around 0.1, the current steep drop in oil prices implies a demand increase of up to 5% over the next few years.

Released: August 2015

Download File ADL_BaseOil.pdf (.PDF, 259 Kb)

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