Russian Motor Oil Exports Rebound In 2016


MOSCOW – Russian motor oil export volumes grew 17 percent in 2016, while imports barely gained ground, according to a consultancy.

Last year Russian exported 337,000 tons of motor oil, rebounding from 287,000 tons in 2015, and exceeding the 315,000 tons exported in 2014, Moscow-based Autostat told GBCs CIS Base Oils and Lubricants conference here May 25.

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These gains are on the wave of the government sponsored import substitution program that began in 2014, said Victor Pushkarev, head of projects at Autostat. This program encourages the adoption of Russian-made materials – including lubricants – in place of imports wherever possible. The Commonwealth of Independent States [a supranational body that Russia shares with some ex-Soviet states] are the most favorable export destinations for the Russian lube manufacturers.

Autostat cited data obtained by the Russian customs service and collected by the consultancys online survey system Radar.

In 2016, Turkey consumed 20 percent of the motor oil exported from Russia, followed by Ukraine with 17 percent, Kazakhstan (14 percent), the Baltic states (7 percent), and Belarus (almost 4 percent).

On the other hand, Autostat found automotive oil imports to Russia increased only 1 percent to 216,000 tons in 2016. In 2015 they fell more than 12 percent to 214,000 tons, down from 264,000 tons in 2014. Russia imports more motor oil from European Union countries than anywhere else. Germany is leading with 12 percent of the total imports to the country, followed by Belgium with almost 12 percent. South Korea is also an important player that held a 14 percent share of the total imports to Russia in 2016, Pushkarev said.

Autostat found that other EU states held 22 percent of the motor oil imports to Russia last year, While Japan accounted for 5 percent.

Russian lube marketer Lukoil held a 23 percent share of the countrys motor oil export volume, Autostat found. It was followed by Gazprom Neft and privately owned Devon, with 22 percent each. Oil major Rosneft accounted for 8 percent of exports, while Bashneft and Delfin Group each held 3 percent and Obninskorgsintez 2 percent of the motor oil exports volume.

On the imports side, last year ExxonMobil held the largest portion of the automotive lubricants imports into Russia – 22 percent. It was followed by BP at 14 percent; and Total and SK Lubricants, which held 8 percent and 6 percent of the motor oil imports to the country, respectively. Liqui Moly and Shell held 5 percent and 4 percent respectively, while Motul and SCT Lubricants held 3 percent of the imports to Russia each. Other importers accounted for the rest.

Of the 170,000 tons of motor oils imported last year, 53 percent were synthetic and the rest were conventional. This breakdown was 50-50 in 2015 and 55-45 in favor of synthetics in 2014. Autostat found that 28 percent of imports in 2016 were 5W-30 multi-grade.

The growth in demand for synthetic oils resulted primarily from the increased share of new cars in the Russian vehicle parc that were built on the latest technologies, Pushkarev said.

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