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Russia Using More Synthetic Motor Oils

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Russia Using More Synthetic Motor Oils

The share of vehicles in Russia that use API SM or API SN motor oil categories increased in the last couple of years, a new market study found.

Autostat, a Moscow-based consultancy, found that the portion of foreign-branded passenger cars in Russia that use SM or SN oils has increased from 26.9 percent in 2017 to 28.3 percent in 2019. Twenty-eight percent of domestic branded cars use API SL, API SM or API SN motor oils, up from 22 percent in 2017.

Most SM and SN oils are considered synthetic because of the levels of API Group III base oils or other synthetic base stocks that they contain.

As of July 2019, the Russian had 52.4 million on-road motor vehicles, Autostat found. Approximately 84 percent of the parc, or 44.1 million units are passenger cars.

“In 2019, foreign original equipment manufacturers recommended synthetic oils in at least 90 percent of the new cars [they sold] in Russia. In the Russian-branded segment of new cars, this share equaled to 50 percent in 2019,” Viktor Pushkarev, deputy head of the consultancy’s analytics department, told Lube Report last week.

In the study, new cars are considered primarily as vehicles first registered in 2019.

Pushkarev said the study covered two domestic brands or cars – Lada and Uaz, the two main Russian makes. Foreign brands included those made within the country by foreign companies as well as imports.

Autostat found that the most frequently used viscosity grades in the new foreign-branded cars in Russia are SAE 5W-30 and SAE 5W-40.

“In 2019, 5W-30 grade was used in about 37 percent of all new foreign-branded cars, while the 5W-40 grade was used in 31 percent. Or, these two grades were used in more than two thirds of these cars,” Pushkarev said.

Autostat also conducted a survey of motorists who use synthetic motor oils.

“According to the survey, the share of motorists who own foreign-branded cars and use synthetic motor oils increased by 8 percent, to 58 percent in 2019, while the share of Russian-made car owners who use synthetics increased by 6 percent, to 26 percent in the same year, both compared to 2017,” Pushkarev said.

The data is part of Autostat’s study, “Russian Motor Oil Market for Passenger Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles, 2019 Balance Sheet.”