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ExxonMobil Tops Shell in Global Lubes Market
Friday August 25, 11:04 am ET

LITTLE FALLS, N.J., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- ExxonMobil has overtaken Shell Oil as the number one marketer of finished lubricant products on the global market, according to a recently published study by Kline & Company. Sales of ExxonMobil's lubricant products topped 4.5 million kilotonnes in 2005, earning the company a 12% share of the global lubes market and allowing ExxonMobil to edge out Shell for the top spot in Kline's annual ranking of the world's top lubricant suppliers.

"ExxonMobil and Shell are perennial top-two players with truly global operations," says Geeta Agashe, director of the Petroleum & Energy practice for Kline's research division. "For 2005, ExxonMobil won out in terms of volume, thanks to their increased market share in the U.S., particularly in the factory fill and private-label segments. But Shell is still on top of the branded products segment, which typically nets a higher profit margin."

According to Kline's study, COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE FOR THE GLOBAL LUBRICANTS INDUSTRY, 2005-2015, the global lubricants market posted only 1% growth in 2005 from the prior year in terms of volume. However, higher growth was enjoyed particularly in the Asia-Pacific and South and Central American regions.

"Asia-Pacific accounted for about 30% of global consumption last year, mainly because of the booming Chinese economy," says Agashe. "While the U.S. still consumes about one-fourth of the world's lube volume, Chinese consumption is exploding, and we predict that China will be the most important lubricant consuming country on the planet by 2020."

A key indication of the Chinese impact on the global market is Beijing Tongyi's first appearance on Kline's list of the top 20 lubricant suppliers for the first time in 2005. It joins fellow Chinese lubricant marketers PetroChina and Sinopec, which rank in the top 10.

"These three marketers are staking a leading claim in the Chinese marketplace," Agashe says. "The fact that their share of the market is derived entirely from sales in China shows the impact that Chinese demand is having on the global picture."

"In the lubes market, the pathway to success is hidden in the details of the market, not only for marketers but basestock and additive suppliers as well," says Bill Downey, vice president and head of Kline's Petroleum & Energy consulting practice. "There is significant movement in regional markets like Brazil, China, India, and Russia despite minimal overall growth on a global scale. The fact that regional players in China are making a footprint in the overall market demonstrates the growth potential for regional competitors with a global strategy."

COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE FOR THE GLOBAL LUBRICANTS INDUSTRY, 2005-2015 is the fifth in a series of Kline's comprehensive continuing analyses of the market for industrial fluids and oils, consumer automotive, and commercial automotive products. It examines 22 major and developing lubricant-consuming countries and suppliers.

Source: Kline & Company

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