Russia Consumes Range of Engine Oil Vis Grades


Russia Consumes Range of Engine Oil Vis Grades
Motor oil bottles on a shelf at a filling station in St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo courtesy of Eduard Kolesnikov

Russia – the largest country in the world, spanning two continents and 11 time zones – consumes a range of motor oil viscosity grades, although 5W multigrades are the most popular, according to a market survey conducted by Moscow-based consultancy B2X.

The survey, covering the first half of 2023, revealed that the most popular engine oil grades in Russia were 5W-30 and 5W-40, constituting 67% of all motor oil grades consumed during that period. The rest consisted of grades such as 10Ws and 0Ws.

These grades are particularly favored in the European part of Russia and Siberia, including the districts of Northwestern, Central, Volga, Ural, and Siberian – regions that encompass major cities, such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, and Volgograd.

However, variations were observed in the other side of Eurasia, particularly in Russia’s Far East District, which has connections to South Korea, China, and Japan. Similar observations apply to the Southern and North Caucasian districts in the Russian European part, encompassing regional centers like Rostov-on-Don and Russian main sea resorts and ports such as Sochi, Astrakhan, and Novorossiysk. Notably, part of the Southern District is the Ukrainian Crimea peninsula, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014.

In the first half of 2023, B2X found that the Russian Far East region had a large share of Japanese imported oils with 0Ws viscosities, accounting for 13% of the total. The remaining percentages were for 5Ws, at 59%, and 10W-40s, with 27%. Conversely, the most popular motor oil grade used in the Southern and North Caucasus regions was 10W-40, constituting 44% of the total, with the remaining 55% going to 5Ws.

The B2X survey also indicated that, in the first half of the previous year, 53% of all passenger car transmission oils sold in Russia were for automatic transmissions, while 47% were gear oils for manual transmissions.

Regionally, passenger car automatic drivelines are most popular in the European part of Russia and Siberia (Northwestern, Central, and Siberian districts) and in the country’s Far East, where most of the on-road cars are Japanese used car imports. In these two regions, the share of automatic transmission oils in the first half of 2023 was 64% and 61% of the total, respectively.

In the Volga, Southern and North Caucasian districts, the use of automatic transmission oils is smaller and accounts for up to 40% of the total.