Russian Passenger Car Lube Demand Grows

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Russian Passenger Car Lube Demand Grows

Russian passenger car motor oil demand reached 267,000 metric tons in 2019, up almost 2 percent compared to the previous year, according to a Moscow-based consultancy.

Of these, 216,000 metric tons were used in passenger car motor oils, while 51,000 tons were used in light commercial vehicles, the analytical agency Autostat concluded in its report, “Russian Motor Oil Market for Passenger Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles, 2019 Balance Sheet.”

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“Almost 90 percent of the vehicles in these two categories are vehicles that use gasoline-powered engines,” the report said.

The report found that at least half of the product offerings from the two largest motor oil marketers in Russia, Lukoil and Gazprom Neft, consisted of synthetic motor oils.

“At least 50 percent of Lukoil’s total motor oil products correspond with API SN engine oil specifications, while only 35 percent of Gazprom Neft motor oil products correspond with this specification,” the report noted.

Russia imported over 134,000 tons of motor oils in 2019, 72 percent of which were for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

“The largest foreign lube suppliers in Russia are ExxonMobil, BP, Liqui Moly, Idemitsu, SK Lubricants, Motul and GS Caltex. In all, over 90 percent of the total imported volumes were supplied by 13 lube marketers and 24 [original equipment manufacturer]-branded oils,” the report said.

Russia exported 248,000 tons of motor oils, 89 percent of which were automobile motor oils, including tractors oils.

“The largest Russian motor oil exporters are Lukoil, Gazprom Neft, Delfin Group and Rosneft, and they exported [a combined] 87 percent of the total shipments from the country,” the study found.

The main retail channel for motor oil sales in Russia are car parts stores, accounting for around half of the total motor oil retail distribution channels for Russian end users.

In 2019, 50 percent of the motor oil sold through these channels was synthetic, and 47 percent was semi-synthetic, while around 3 percent was conventional motor oil. The study found that the motor oils with viscosity of 10W-40, 5W-40 and 5W-30 were the most popular in 2019.

The number of passenger cars for which API SM or API SN oils were recommended grew by 8 percent, while the number of light commercial vehicles vehicles needing them grew by 10 percent, the study found. The consultancy described a 30 percent growth in production of light commercial vehicles with diesel-powered engines for which oils that at least meet API CH are recommended.

Autostat also found that 57 percent of Russian passenger car engine crankcases use three to four liters of motor oils per oil change, while 80 percent of the light commercial vehicle engine crankcases use around six liters of motor oil per oil change.

Photo: Vereshchagin Dmitry/Shutterstock

Busy traffic in Moscow. Russian passenger vehicle motor oil consumption rose almost 2 percent in 2019.

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