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October 22, 2019

Volume 3 Issue 4

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Russia’s Motor Oil Demand Inching Up

MOSCOW – Russia’s motor oil consumption is expected to rise by a compound annual rate of 1.4 percent through 2024 as the country’s active vehicle parc increases, while sales of new Russian-made cars stagnate, a consultancy found.

Moscow-based Russian Automotive Market Research expects that the country’s motor oil consumption for passenger cars will rise from 339,000 metric tons in 2019 to almost 360,000 tons in 2024.

Motor oil consumption by light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty trucks is projected to rise, as well: the former from 142,000 tons in 2019 to over 151,000 tons in 2024, and the latter from 297,000 tons to 321,000 tons. By 2024, the engine oil consumption for buses will rise too, from 23,000 tons to almost 27,000 tons, according to Tatyana Arbadji, head of Ramr.

“In the following years, petrol engine vehicles will hold their position as the most prevalent drivetrain in the Russian car segment,” with foreign branded cars remaining dominant, Arbadji told RPI’s Global Lubricants conference held here Oct. 8.

The consultancy found that motor oil consumption for foreign branded cars will rise significantly by 2024, contrary to the motor oil volume used by Russian-branded cars, which is poised to decrease by then. More international brands will dominate the Russian vehicle park by 2024.

Ramr expects foreign cars to consume 252,000 tons of oil by 2024, or 16 percent more compared to 2019, while the Russian-branded cars will use 11 percent less motor oil by 2024 – 109,000 tons – compared to today, according to Arbadji.

A similar trend is expected in the heavy-duty truck and light commercial vehicle segments. For buses, it is the opposite – Russian-made buses will use more motor oil by 2024 compared to foreign-branded buses.

At the moment, gasoline engines are most prevalent in Russia in all three segments: passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and trucks. Bus drivetrains are roughly split between gasoline and diesel engines, with a tilt toward gasoline, according to Ramr.

Among car brands that comprise the country’s active vehicle parc, Russian-made Lada-branded cars led with 74,000 metric tons of motor oil consumed from July 2018 to July 2019. This was followed by Toyota, with 31,000 tons consumed, and Hyundai cars, at 15,000 tons.   

“Lada cars on average used 3.5 liters of motor oil, Toyota cars used 4.7 liters, while Hyundai [used] 4.2 liters” per car, Arabadji said.

The consultancy also found that the Russian automotive market is expected to shift toward more use of diesel engine vehicles in medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle segments in the following years, and toward a prevalence of Russian-branded vehicles in the commercial segments. The market is also expected to trend toward conversion of commercial vehicles to liquefied natural gas powered engines, while the Russian capital will rely more on electric buses and electric taxis in the next five years.

The consultancy expects no dramatic changes in the market for alternative fuel vehicles such as electric cars, unless the Russian government provides support for end consumers and manufacturers.

Traffic in Vladivostok, Russia.

Photo: Alexander Khitrov/Dreamstime

Heavy traffic during a snowfall in Vladivostok, Russia. Moscow-based Russian Automotive Market Research expects that the country’s motor oil consumption for passenger cars will rise from 339,000 metric tons in 2019 to almost 360,000 tons in 2024.