Engine oil demand in Romania increased by 8.8 percent in 2018, compared to the year before, as used car sales spiked over the same period of time, according to Ziarul Financier, a Romanian business publication.
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Boris Kamchev is a staff writer and Russia-based East European correspondent for LNG.
Prior to joining LNG, Boris was a Russia-based reporter for several Macedonian weekly magazines and newspapers.He had a 16-month stint as a business reporter for The St. Petersburg Times, a St. Petersburg, Russia-based English language newspaper. He also contributed analyses to Russia Profile, an English-language web-news service of RIA Novosti news agency.
Proficient in English, Russian, Macedonian and several other languages, he was a Fulbright visiting scholar at the University of Missouri's School of Journalism and holds a BA degree from his native Macedonia.
The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation into the planned merger of Poland’s two main oil companies, PKN Orlen and Lotos, to assess whether the deal would violate anti-monopoly rules in the lubricants industry and other markets.
Like others around the world, Russia’s lubricant market is shifting toward API Group II and Group III base oils, and a consultant predicts that this will lead to further Group I rationalization and reduction of Russian Group I exports.
Lukoil sold 875,000 metric tons of finished lubricants in 2018, up from 863,000 tons in 2017, according to the Russian company’s latest performance report. It attributed the increase to growing domestic demand for petrochemical products.
Polish oil refiner Orlen SA is building a 30,000 metric tons per year propylene glycol and glycerol plant at its refinery in Trzebinia near Katowice.
Inflation and declining consumer incomes would typically encourage online purchases of lubricants, where prices are normally cheaper. But a recent study found that online transactions still account for just 5 percent of lube sales in Russia, which is afflicted by those maladies.
Russian lubricant companies are leaning in to plug the import substitution gap, and Rosneft is at the forefront of that effort. But will it bear fruit in the long run?
Russian grease marketer Intesmo increased its output by 25 percent in 2018, according to Lukoil, a partner in the joint venture with state-owned rail transportation monopoly Russian Railways.
Russian lubricant producers supplied 65 percent of heavy-duty engine oils used in the country in 2018, while foreign marketers and original equipment manufacturers supplied 28 percent and 7 percent, respectively, a consultancy found.
Rosneft sold 84,000 metric tons of what it calls premium lubricants, up 21 percent from the year before, driven by an effort to displace imported and foreign branded lubricants from the Russian market.
In the 1960s, scientists in the Soviet Union founded chemmotology, a science focused on making efficient use of fuels, lubricants and other fluids used in machinery. Today that science continues to evolve, although it did not spread and was not duplicated outside of its original boundaries.
Russian lubes and greases marketer Obninskorgsintez is ramping up its grease production through robust marketing and expansion of its customer base, a company official told Lube Report.
The once-shuttered Ukrainian lubricant maker Azmol is alive and kicking again. But its revived fortunes could hinge on gaining a share of a foreign-dominated market as much as technical know-how.
Global volume demand for lubricant additives grew approximately 1 percent in 2017 after increasing an average of 2.6 percent annually from 2014 to 2016, according to a report from Kline & Co. The firm said growth decreased because of a tightening regulatory framework that includes chemicals and biocides regulations in the European Union.
End user perceptions of differences in the quality of Russian and foreign-branded motor oil are narrowing, and the manufacturers of foreign brands have ramped up output within the country, lowering prices for mass market lubes, a consultancy found.