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July 18, 2017

Volume 7 Issue 9

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Sri Lanka Lube Sales up Double-digits

Lube sales in Sri Lanka were up 11.4 percent last year, as Chevron continued to hold the lion’s share of the 26.1 billion rupees (U.S. $170 million) market.

Sri Lanka’s 13 licensed lube marketers sold a little more than 57,000 metric tons in 2016, up from around 51,300 tons the year before, according to an annual report authored by the Public Utilities Commission, the island nation’s industry regulator.

Chevron Ceylon Ltd. – also known as Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc – sold nearly 26,000 tons, or more than 45 percent of the country’s demand. The next closest competitor, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd., held a 16 percent share with around 9,300 tons. Other suppliers in the group – which includes national oil company Ceylon Petroleum Corp. and domestic firm Laugfs Holdings Ltd. among foreigners – each held single-digit shares.

Chevron produced 68 percent of the approximately 42,000 tons of finished products blended in the country. IOCL made 22 percent of that volume, and the only other player licensed to manufacture lubes in 2016, Laugfs, made the remaining 10 percent.

With no virgin base oil production in the country, blenders rely on imports for feedstock. Chevron brought in 28,580 tons of base oils and nearly 2,900 tons of additives; IOCL 6,000 tons and 670 tons, respectively; and Laugfs bought 1,327 tons and 181 tons. 

Automotive lubricants made up 72 percent of sales, trailed by industrial oils at 18 percent. Marine lubes comprised around 5 percent and greases 4 percent. All other types of finished products combined accounted for less than 1 percent of sales.

Auto segment sales were dominated by diesel engine oils, which made up 52 percent of the volume, split by monogrades and multigrades at 38 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Motorcycle oils came in second in the motor oils category, holding 20 percent and 9.4 percent slices of that market for four-stroke and two-stroke varieties, respectively. Multigrade gasoline engine oils followed at 8.3 percent, and gear oils at 5.4 percent.

Diesel monogrades accounted for only 30 percent of revenue earned by automotive lubes, while gasoline multigrades eked out 15 percent.

PUCSL did not report volumes of synthetic sales, but showed that ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte. took 55.7 percent of that segment. Chevron held a 28 percent share, and BP France SA sold 7 percent.

Automotive products also accounted for 68 percent of all finished products imports. Industrial imports accounted for 15 percent of all sales from foreign players, and greases made up 12 percent.

Exports were up 23 percent to around 3,500 tons.

Sri Lanka’s government received around 81 million rupees from licensing and registration fees in 2016 – 10 percent more than it did in 2015.