Demand for Fully Synthetic Engine Oils to Grow 5% Annually Through 2020

Engine oils will be the powerhouse of the synthetic lubricants and functional fluids market as evolving vehicle technology and energy efficiency standards raise performance standards.  Engine oils comprised about one-third of the market in 2015, a proportion that will grow to nearly 40 percent in 2020 due to the steady growth and large size of the engine oil segment.  All major product types, with the exception of engine coolants, will record growth over the forecast period.  Slower growth will generally occur among products where synthetics penetration is higher and thus more mature, such as heat transfer fluids.  These and other trends are presented in Synthetic Lubricants & Functional Fluids Market in the US, 5th Edition, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Demand for fully synthetic engine oils is forecast to grow 5.0 percent per year to 148 million gallons, with a market value of $2.2 billion.  Fully synthetic products comprised 11 percent of engine oil demand in 2015, with nearly all for the automotive market.  Increasing penetration of synthetics into the engine oils market will allow demand for synthetic products to continue growing, despite overall flatness in engine oil demand.

Despite the advantages of synthetics, conventional engine oils will continue to dominate the market through 2025.  According to analyst Minor Cline, “Synthetics can cost more than twice as much as conventional products, and the benefits conferred by synthetics may be unclear to consumers or not worth the expense.”  Because all lubricants must be licensed as meeting the performance requirements needed for use, even the lowest cost conventional oils are certified to protect engines from wear. 

Synthetic Lubricants & Functional Fluids Market in the US, 5th Edition (published 01/2017, 170 pages) is available for $5400 from The Freedonia Group.  For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600 or email

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