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Process Oil are used in chemical and technical industries as raw material or to facilitate processing. Their main application is process aid. For instance, they improve the process ability of rubbers and increase the bulk of rubber. Additionally, efficiency, productivity, and energy savings also increases. Process Oils are petroleum derived and have important properties such as miscibility, color stability, and ageing resistance, which makes it useful in various applications. They are used in manufacture of personal care products, polymers, textile, automobile parts, and industrial applications.

The major drivers for process oil market is the growth of end user industries. Moreover, the benefits outweigh the capital expenditure costs of process oils. The major challenges include the presence of carcinogens polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and polycyclic aromatics (PCA), which can cause carcinogenic mutations. Stringent regulations has led to development of non-carcinogenic alternative.

Process Oil Market Taxonomy

On basis of oil type, the process oil market is segmented into:

  • Naphthenic Oil
  • Paraffinic Oil
  • Aromatic Oil
  • Non-carcinogenic Oils
    • Treated Distillate Aromatic Extract
    • Mild Extract Solvated
    • Residual Aromatic Extract
    • Bio based Oils

On basis of end use industry, the process oil market is segmented into:

  • Personal Care
    • Cosmetics
    • Toiletries
  • Polymers
  • Textile
  • Automobile
    • "Under the hood" automotive parts
    • Automobile moldings
    • Tire whitewalls
  • Construction
    • Sound and vibration dampening materials
    • Wire and cable insulation and sheathing
    • Weather stripping and rubber membranes
    • Roofing compounds
  • Agriculture
  • Industrial
    • Conveyor belts for food processing
    • High temperature application
  • Adhesives, sealants and coatings
  • Others

Naphthenic process oils have good color and thermal stability, hence they are used for floor tiles and LPG tubes. Paraffinic process oils have high viscosity and flash point, which are largely used in automotive applications. Aromatic process oils are blended to meet stringent regulations and specifications. Bio-based process oil is used in the automobile and tire industry. Non-carcinogenic process oil is free of carcinogens and meets the regulations of PAH<10ppm.

Process Oil Market Outlook

  • Asia Pacific is the largest and fastest growing market for process oils. The market share and growth is attributed to the burgeoning automobile, and the tire manufacturing segment. China exports tires to 200 countries, with 44.561 million new pneumatic tires exported in 2015 alone. The growth of India and Indonesia in the region is projected to challenge China’s monopoly.
  • North America and Europe posted strong sales in automobile sector which resulted in burgeoning growth in the process oil market. An estimated 17.55 million vehicles were sold in the US in 2016, with pickups and SUV’s the favored vehicles due to low gasoline prices. This trend is expected to reverse as governments impose tough emission legislation. Three major automakers Ford, G.M, and Chrysler are the largest consumers of process oils.
  • Middle East and Africa are prime crude oil producing regions. Process oil market in these regions is booming due to growth in the downstream chemical processing industry.
  • Latin American market is a mixed bag with growth in Mexico, Peru, Chile, Colombia, and a slowdown in Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina. The tire market is heavily dependent on imports from China. New governments in Argentina and Brazil are expected to stabilize the region which has been in political turmoil and new project investment across all end user industries.

Key Developments:

For instance, in September 2013, Nynas AB acquired Shell's refinery based in Harburg, Germany. The Harburg refinery manufactures naphthenic base and process oils which are used as raw material for industrial rubber, adhesives, and fertilisers. The annual production capacity of Harburg refinery is 330000 tons. This acquisition is expected to strengthen Nynas AB’s presence in European market.

In March 2019, Nynas AB launched bio based type oil ‘NYTEX BIO 6200’ which is produced from renewable feedstock. NYTEX BIO 6200 is companies first bio based oil in portfolio. This new product launch aided the company to strengthen its product portfolio and further increase its position in the global market.

For instance, in February 2018, Norman Process Oils Malaysia Plant Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Orgkhim Biochemical Holding from Russia, built new production at Johor Bahru District, Johor, Malaysia to manufacture Carcinogen-Free Rubber Process Oils. The company has invested US$ 50 million to build this new production facility. This new plant enabled the company to strengthen its product portfolio and further increase its business of process oil Asia Pacific market.

For instance, in May 2017, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd acquired Jurong Aromatics Corporation Pte Ltd plant, a Singapore based aromatic manufacturer. Jurong Aromatics Corporation Pte Ltd has production capacity over 3.5 million tonnes per year. This acquisition has helped ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd to expand its product portfolio in Asia Pacific market.

Major players in the process oil market are Royal Dutch Shell plc, Chevron Corporation, and Petronas Lubricants Belgium NV, Nynas AB, ORGKHIM Biochemical Holding and Repsol S.A.

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