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September 17, 2019

Volume 3 Issue 3

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Motor Oil Demand Rising in Russia

A market research firm projects Russia’s motor oil demand to grow at a compound annual rate of 1.6 percent from 811,000 tons in the July 2017 to July 2018 period to almost 878,000 tons by the July 2022 to July 2023 period, boosted by increased demand for passenger cars and buses.  

“We expect steady growth in motor oil demand in Russia by 2023, with healthy growth of the passenger car motor oils to up to 403 million liters,” or 362,000 tons, compared to 2018, Tatyana Arbadji, head of Russian Automotive Market Research, told Lube Report. Russia’s heavy-duty motor oil demand is projected to reach 334,000 tons in the July 2022 to July 2023 period. “Motor oil for buses will experience 11 percent growth” over the five-year period, while light commercial vehicle motor oil demand is projected to reach 155,000 tons.

RAMR found that 341,000 tons of passenger car motor oil were sold in the country from July 2018 to July 2019, or up from 301,000 tons sold in the same period the year before.

Russian sales of heavy-duty motor oils reached 305,000 tons in the same period, while light commercial vehicles consumed 142,000 tons. RAMR found that buses consumed 24,000 tons of motor oil from July 2018 to July 2019.

The Russian vehicle fleet size has increased dramatically over the last 15 years and, this in turn translated to a healthy growth of the motor oil demand in the country, according to the consultancy.

In spite of a slowdown in Russia during the past few years because of a lackluster economy, the country’s vehicle parc doubled over the past 15 years, reaching over 50 million on-road units in 2018, according to the Moscow-based analytical agency Autostat.

As the vehicle parc increases, demand for high quality motor oils grows. In the past, consumers favored cheap, Gost-related products made of API Group I mineral base oils, but now demand for synthetic and semi-synthetic motor oils made of Group II and Group III base oils is on the rise, the agency found. Gost is a specification used in older Russian and Soviet-made cars, machinery and equipment.

In a recent Autostat survey of 3,000 Russian motorists, 46 percent of respondents said they use fully synthetic motor oils in their cars, while 45 percent reported using semi-synthetic motor oils. Only 3 percent said they use oils meeting obsolete Gost standard.

“We observe a slow replenishing of the old vehicle fleet with more new cars,” Total Vostok Marketing Director Anastasia Makarkina said. “It means that products made with the latest technology and that have high quality are much more needed.” She added that market trends are moving toward increased sales of synthetic and low-viscosity products, while the demand for mineral products is steadily decreasing.

Total Vostok is the French oil major’s operator in Russia and one of the top five foreign engine oil marketers in the country, along with Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron.

Traffic in Moscow

Photo: Salvador Aznar/Shutterstock

Traffic near the theater square in the historic center of Moscow. The Russian vehicle fleet size has increased dramatically over the last 15 years and, this in turn translated to a healthy growth of the motor oil demand in the country, according to the consultancy.