Russia Lube, Base Oil Imports Up in 2021


Russia Lube, Base Oil Imports Up in 2021
© Matveychuk Anatoliy

Russian imports of base oils and finished lubricants increased by 19% in the first 10 months of 2021, driven by a rebound from the very low demand observed in the same period in 2020, according to a market report. Imports of lubricant additives have increased slightly this year.

From January to October 2021, Russia imported 334,000 tons of base oils and finished lubricants, according to B2X, a Moscow-based consultancy. The consultancy’s latest report quotes data from the country’s customs service.

The imported products include API Group I, Group II and Group III base oils, motor and transmission oils, as well as other industrial lubricants, including vacuum pump oils and metalworking fluids, according to the customs service’s range of base oil and lubricant commodities subjected to import duty fees and taxes.

Imports of these products in October amounted to 51,000 tons, up 9% from the same month in 2020.

Finland is the No. 1 exporter of base oils to Russia. In the first 10 months of 2021, Finland shipped 61,000 tons of base oils to its bigger eastern neighbor, 6% more than in the same period in 2020, according to the B2X report. Germany and the Netherlands each exported 50,000 tons of base oils and lubricants to Russia in the same 10-month period. That was a 14% increase for Germany and a 34% increase for the Netherlands. They were followed by South Korea (45,000 tons of base oils, up 16%), Belgium (42,000 tons, up 5%), Qatar (28,000 tons, up 23%) and Belarus (24,000 tons, up 72%).

“In 2021, the best import results were observed from the Netherlands and South Korea,” Ivan Yakovlev, B2X’s senior analyst, told Lube Report last week. “These are the most significant base oil and lubricant import growth rates among the primary exporting countries.”

In the first 10 months of 2021, Russia imported 69,000 tons of lubricant additives, 2% more compared to the same period in 2020. The lubricant additive imports in October increased by 14% compared to the same month in 2020. France, Italy and Belarus are the top three exporters of lube additives to Russia. From January through October 2021, France exported 21,000 tons, up 11% from the same period the previous year. Italy exported 17,000 tons (30% more), while Belarus’ exports dropped by 30% to 14,000 tons. These countries were followed by Belgium (8,000 tons of additives shipped to Russia, up 20%), Germany (5,000 tons, up 2%) and the United States (2,000 tons, up 1%).

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