Petrobras Leads Regional Lube Market


Petrobras, Brazils government-controlled oil giant, announced last week that its Lubrax lubricant line now has the leading market share in the Mercosul countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), with 18 percent of the combined market, compared to less than 15 percent for the runner-up.

Petrobras – Petroleo Brasileiro S.A., headquartered in Rio de Janeiro – attributed the market data, effective at the end of 2005, to a survey of lubricant-marketing and other business organizations in each of the four countries, published by the Agencia Virtual consultancy.

The survey showed that Petrobras’ sales volume in the region grew 36 percent from 2003 to 2005, as its market share climbed from less than 15 percent to more than 18 percent in the same period.Mercosul market leader Petrobras was followed by Chevron with 14.7 percent of the market, Shell with 12 percent, and Exxon with 9 percent.

In 2005 the Lubrax brand grew significantly in Brazil, Renato C.T.M. de Oliveira, Petrobras lubricant business manager, told Lube Report, in large part because sister company Petrobras Distribuidora S.A. (known as BR) completed its acquisition of AGIP do Brasil, absorbing its lubricant business.

In Argentina, when Lubrax started local production in January 2002, we had a 4 percent market share. Last year we reached almost 9 percent market share, Oliveira continued.

I believe Lubrax grew in Mercosul as a result of sales channel occupation: the AGIP channel in Brazil was acquired by BR, and Eg3 and Peres Co. in Argentina [were] acquired by Petrobras Argentina. Today, he noted, Petrobras Argentina is consolidated as Petrobras Energia S.A., or PESA.

Latin America accounts for about 8 percent of total world demand for lubricants, and Mercosul accounts for half of that, according to Petrobras. Mercosuls appetite for lubes is growing 2 percent per year. Brazil and Argentina are the two biggest markets in the region, Oliveira added.

In Brazil, Lubrax is the leader in both automotive and industrial segments, said Oliveira. In Argentina, we started more in the automotive segment, … [but] this year we can say PESA will play more effectively in the industrial segment by offering some [new] services to its customers.

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