Russias Lubes Volume Up, Value Down


As a result of growing passenger car sales, Russias motor oil market saw a steady increase in sales during the first half of 2012 compared to a year earlier, with sales volume reaching the 2008 pre-crisis level, according to a Moscow-based consultancy.

The Russian passenger car oils market amounted to 138.5 million liters in the first half of 2012, a 3.6 percent increase over sales volume for 2011s first half, the consultancy Auto Marketing found.

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This growth is driven by an increase of the countrys passenger car fleet that reached 36.5 million units in the first half of 2012, the consultancy concluded in its report, Motor Oils – Monitoring of the Russian Market: First Half of 2012.

It amounts to 1.5 million cars more compared to the 2011s first half. The total influx of 2.7 million new cars into the fleet [for the January-December 2012], and the producers and distributors marketing efforts significantly impacted the motor oil structure demand and increased the sales in the synthetics segment.

Auto Marketing found that in the first half of 2012, the market share of synthetic motor oils in Russia was 43 percent, a 3 percent increase compared the year-earlier period. Mineral motor oils lost 3 percent of its share in 2012s first half (22 percent) compared to 2011s first six months (25 percent). Market share for semi-synthetic remained at 35 percent.

In 2012s first half, around 40 percent of Russias passenger car motor oil were sold by domestic companies, while 60 percent were sold by foreign competitors, according to the consultancy. There is a constant trend of steady growth of the volume of imported finished lubes in Russia. The finished lube price hikes that began in the second half of 2011 ended in the beginning of 2012, with some [domestic] market players who even slightly decreased wholesale and retail prices of their products.

The total value of the countrys passenger cars motor oil in the first half of 2012, however, decreased by 1.6 percent to around U.S. $1 billion, compared to the same period in 2011.

The slight value decrease was caused by the lower rouble rate against [U.S] dollars. In 2011s first half, $1 was exchanged for 28.74 roubles, while in the 2012s first half, the rate was $1 to 30.94 [roubles].

In terms of market share, Lukoil retained its leading position in Russia, holding almost 26 percent of the countrys motor oil market in the first half of 2012, according to Auto Marketing.

It was followed by ExxonMobil, remaining number two with a 16.5 percent share, followed by Shell with 9 percent. Motor oil brands in the Russian market-TNK-BP, BP-Castrol, SK-Lubricants Zic brand, and Delfin Groups Luxe brand – held from a 4.4 percent share (Luxe) to a 7.4 percent share (TNK).

The study also analyzed the first half 2012 Russia market shares of smaller players such as Frances Total, with its Elf brand, that held a 3.3 percent share; the German Mannol-SCT (2.5 percent) and Liqui Moly (1.9 percent); and the domestic Rosneft (1.1 percent) and Gazprom Neft, with its recently introduced G-Energy brand in Russia (0.6 percent).

In spite of the marketing efforts and active advertisement, the share of Gazproms G-Energy brand in the market is not as big. TNK-BP and Delfin have seen a slight decrease of their market shares in 2012s first half compared to the first half of 2011, the consultancy stated.

The consultancy also looked at the finished lubes sold in 4-liter and 5-liter canisters in wholesale and at the retail points across Moscow. Auto Marketing found that in the first half of 2012, the top three mineral motor oil brands were Lukoil, Shell, and Luxe.

In the semi-synthetic segment, the first half of last years top three Moscow players were the brands Liqui Moly, Lukoil and Zic. In the synthetics segment, the top three brands were Mobil, Liqui Moly and Castrol.

Auto Marketing publishes the annual report in its Rynok Avtozapchasti (Automobile Parts Market) monthly magazine. For more info, see

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