Belarus halted exports of base oils and finished lubricants this month in an effort to mitigate a potential energy crisis after Russia cut off crude oil deliveries to the country.
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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.
Eighty-four percent of motorists in Russia are men, while just 16 percent are women, and men usually handle engine oil changes, whether by doing it themselves or taking their vehicle to a service provider, according to the local subsidiary of French energy giant Total.
The trend toward electrified vehicles will mean an increase in demand for API Group III+ base stocks because they will be needed to formulate engine oils for hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, a consultant said at a recent industry conference.
The trend toward electrified vehicles will mean an increase in demand for Group III+ base stocks because they will be needed to formulate engine oils for hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, a consultant said at a recent industry conference.
The country is a major regional market for auto lubes, stimulated by growing car sales and a recovering economy. But its aging truck fleet is still guzzling old-school grades.
Russian base oil export volumes are off an estimated 1 percent this year after a sharp 12 percent decline in 2018, an industry insider estimates. An official from chemicals trader DYM Resources told a recent conference that volumes could rebound thanks to improving economics and capacity expansions.
Global electric vehicle sales have grown at high double-digit rates for the past several years, leading to forecasts of EVs becoming large portions of the worldwide car parc. Unexpected changes in technology and politics could speed up or slow the trend, hampering efforts to predict when such advances will occur, an industry insider said.
API Group I rationalization continues to occur in Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States – with more expected in the Middle East – while an influx of new Group II capacity is projected to result in a surplus of that grade in Russia and CIS countries, an industry insider said.
Kline & Co. consultants predicts that passenger car motor oil demand in most of the largest auto markets will decrease at a compound annual rate of 0.1 percent through 2040 due to the impacts of electric vehicles, without which demand would rise at 0.9 percent annually.
Imports are on the rise in Russia’s grease market, but domestic lubricant makers are trying to displace them by offering products of similarly high quality. However, low-quality greases made by some domestic producers continue to dominate a large portion of the market, an industry insider said.
Russian motorists who purchase motor oil most often consider factors such as original equipment manufacturers’ recommendations, the oil’s viscosity and their personal experience with the product, as well as the price, a consultancy found.
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.
Despite a current slump, an Infineum official said China’s car market still has big potential to expand, and the quality of lubricants that it needs are also rising.
Technological advances in the automobile sector and shifting social trends will change the landscape of transportation and help shape the future of the lubricants industry, an analyst said at a conference here last week.
Greif, an American manufacturer of industrial packaging, expanded its operations in Russia with a second intermediate bulk container production plant to serve its lubricants industry customers, the company told Lube Report.