Russia’s Auto Lubes Poised to Grow

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Led by strong vehicle sales, Russian automotive lubricants demand is expected to grow around 3 percent annually, reaching 765,000 metric tons by 2017, a study by consultancy RPI found.

The passenger car lubes segment will lead this growth, with expected increases of about 4 percent per year through 2017, according to Moscow-based RPIs new study, Actual Engine Oil Consumption by Motor Vehicles in Russia.

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The study found that passenger car motor oil demand growth is influenced by changes in passenger car design, changes in sump size, increasing annual mileage driven and extended service interval mileage.

Russias total automotive lubricants demand in 2011 reached 631,400 tons, Maxim Matuk, RPIs head of research, told Lube Report in an e-mail exchange. This volume is split among passenger car lubes that in 2011 accounted for 42.4 percent of the total demand, or 265,400 tons; commercial and heavy-duty vehicle motor oils that accounted for 40.6 percent, or 258,600 tons; and lubes for light commercial vehicles and buses that together accounted for 17 percent of the countrys total automotive lubes demand, 78,900 tons and 28,500 tons respectively.

RPI expects Russias total passenger car lubricants demand to reach 351,000 tons in 2017, including factory fill volumes by automobile producers. Heavy-duty lube demand will rise to 280,000 tons per year by 2017, while lubricant demand for light commercial vehicles could rise to 105,000 tons and for buses to 32,500 tons.

As of Jan. 1, 2012, the total Russian vehicle fleet,including passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses, numbered about 43.4 million units, according to RPI. Passenger cars dominated, making up 82 percent share of the total number of vehicles. Relatively equal shares of 8.3 percent and 8.4 percent belonged to light commercial vehicles and trucks (which include commercial and heavy-duty vehicles). Buses share did not exceed 1 percent.

In the wake of growing car sales, the passenger vehicles segment is expected to grow to approximately 46.6 million units in 2017. The light commercial vehicle fleet may rise by 24.8 percent to approximately 4.5 million units, and the number of trucks is expected to grow by 9 percent, reaching 4 million units by 2017, Matuk said.

As a result of growing passenger traffic and replacement of aging inventory, bus sales are expected to rise around 4 percent annually through 2017.

Geographically, the highest rates of automotive engine oil consumption in 2011 were reported in the Central, Privolzhsky and Siberian federal districts, and these three districts together accounted for 60.9 percent share of the countrys total passenger car lube demand.These three federal districts also consumed 55.8 percent of Russias commercial vehicle lubes, 57.1 percent of the countrys engine oils for trucks, and 60.8 percent of its engine oil for buses, Matuk revealed.

The highest consumption of passenger car lubes was reported in Moscow (9.6 percent of total Russian consumption), Moscow oblast (6 percent), Krasnodar krai (4.1 percent), St. Petersburg (3.8 percent) and Rostov oblast (2.9percent). In the truck segment, the highest HDMO consumption occurred in the Tyumen oblast (5.4 percent of the total domestic consumption), Moscow (4.7 percent), Krasnodar krai (4 percent), Moscow oblast (3.8 percent), Republic of Tatarstan (3 percent) and Rostov oblast (3 percent).

In the light commercial vehicles segment, the highest lube consumption was reported in Moscow (7.1 percent of the countrys total domestic consumption), Primorsk krai (6.4 percent), Moscow oblast (5.2 percent), Krasnodar krai (3.8 percent) and St. Petersburg (3.2 percent). In the buses segment, the highest oil consumption was reported in Moscow (4.6 percent of total consumption by buses in Russia), Tyumen oblast (4.2 percent), Krasnodar krai (3.9 percent), Irkutsk oblast (3.5 percent) and Republic of Tatarstan (3.5 percent).

Matuk said Russias automotive lubricants demand growth will continue in the next several years, albeit at variable pace in the segments of the automotive engine oil market.

On average, for the countrys entire vehicle fleet, Russian engine oil consumption in 2011 totaled 14.56 kilograms per vehicle. According to the RPI forecast, during the period from 2013 through 2017, per-vehicle engine oil consumption in the country is likely to get closer to the figure reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member states, i.e., 9.1 kg per vehicle. Nevertheless, Russia will not be able to catch up to that number until after 2020, Matuk concluded.

For more information about the 92-page RPI study, which is available in Russian and English, or to purchase copies, see http://rpi-research.com/publications/detail.php?ID=405.

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