Russian, Korean Brands Gain Ground in Moscow


Russian, Korean Brands Gain Ground in Moscow
Bottles of motor oil and other products on shelves at an automotive parts store in Russia. Staff Photo / Boris Kamchev

Western motor oil brands continue to lose shares of sales in and around Moscow, while domestic and Korean brands have taken up slack since last summer, according to a recent study.

The main international lubricant and lube additive makers, such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Castrol and Total as well as Lubrizol, Chevron Oronite, Afton Chemical and Infineum, exited the Russian market to protest Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian brands such as Lukoil, Gazpromneft and Sintec, as well as some Korean brands, increased their share of retail lubricant sales in the Moscow market, according to a new study by B2X, a Moscow-based consultancy. The consultancy shared some data of the study related to the country’s capital and the surrounding Moscow oblast.

B2X said the findings are based on a telephone survey and input to its online platform Compass, with respondents ranging from automobile service stations and parts stores to car dealerships and supermarkets – the main channels in Russia for consumer engine oil purchases.

“The analysis of the retail market in Moscow shows that Russian brands of Lukoil, Sintec and Gazpromneft, as well as the Korean oils Zic and Kixx, increased their market presence in the second half of 2022,” B2X said in a Sept. 7 post on its Telegram channel.

In addition, the consultancy observed a “gradual decrease of the ex-leaders Shell’s and Mobil’s shares.”

Lukoil’s presence in the Moscow’s retail market increased from 12% in the first half of 2022 to about more than 18% in May 2023. For the same period Sintec increased its market presence in Moscow from 2.5% to almost 7%, while Gazpromneft from about 2% to about 2.5%, the study found. The market presence of SK Enmove’s Zic brand doubled, from about 3% in the first half of 2022 to about 6% in May 2023. The market share of GS Caltex’s Kixx also doubled – from about 1.5% to about 3%.

On the flip side, Shell’s share fell from 12% to 5% over the same period. Market share of ExxonMobil’s Mobil brand slid from almost 11% to less than 3%, while. Japanese brand Idemitsu decreased from almost 5% to less than 3% and German brand Liqui Moly from almost 5% to 4%.

“All of this tells us that the market is gradually consolidating,” B2X said. “It would need to pass at least one to two oil change cycles for certain brands to win the motorists’ loyalty.” The firm added that the Moscow motor oil market “continues to offer many possibilities for development of effective investments.”

B2X said the survey also showed that 58% of oil changes performed at area service stations were completed using oil purchased at the same station, while motorists brought oil with them in 42% of the cases. Thirty-three percent of participating parts stores offer oil change. B2X conducted the survey in August 2023.