Competition is increasing between baseoil producers, white oil producers, blenders, and importers at different points of the supply chain across all regions. However, the existing suppliers have an advantage over new entrants because the product approval process is generally lengthy and customers do not easily switch suppliers unless there is visible benefits in cost or improvement in performance.
The Chinese national oil company Sinopec, a leading supplier in China, is also the leading supplier in the key markets with a 25% market share. Calumet, second to Sinopec, is the leading supplier in North America, but is also supplying to Brazil and other countries. The white oil markets in India, the United States, and Europe have intense competition because of the presence of many producers and blenders, resulting in thin profit margins.
Cosmetics and toiletries and plastics and polymers are the major consumers of white oils. The cosmetics and toiletries industry alone accounts for more than one-fourth of the total white oil demand. Textiles is the third largest consumer of white oils, with demand coming mainly from China, where it accounts for almost one-third of the white oil demand.
Pharmaceutical/food-grade white oils account for nearly two-thirds of the total white oils consumed in the key markets in 2015. However, in China, technical grades take the vast majority of the market as most of the white oils-consuming sectors do not have higher requirements in quality, such as textiles, inks, polystyrenes, and adhesives.
The usage of white oil viscosities and grades varies by region and application. For instance, China does not have a specific grade for pharmaceutical grade. In Brazil, white oils are produced in pharmaceutical grade, which includes the most highly refined grades of white oils. Technical/industrial grade is currently not produced in Brazil and supplied via imports.
"Due to the heavy dependence on imports, Latin America and Africa are among the most lucrative markets offering good opportunities to expand sales of white oils," comments Sushmita Dutta, Project Lead, Energy, at Kline. "As the regions' economies grow, demand for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and toiletries will also increase."
The demand for white oils is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3% through the forecast period from 2015 to 2020 for key markets analysed in Global White Oils: Market Analysis and Opportunities report. India will witness the highest demand growth at a CAGR of 1.8%, driven by the Indian government's Pharma Vision 2020, which aims at making India the global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing.
Kline is a worldwide consulting and research firm dedicated to providing the kind of insight and knowledge that helps companies find a clear path to success. The firm has served the management consulting and market research needs of organizations in the agrochemicals, chemicals, materials, energy, life sciences, and consumer products industries for nearly 60 years. For more information, visit www.KlineGroup.com.
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