Russian aftermarket motor oil consumption – the volume of engine oils used in passenger vehicles post-sale – amounted to 161 million liters during the July 2017 to July 2018 period, up 5.2 percent from the same period a year earlier, due to growth in miles driven, according to global consultancy Gipa.
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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.
Russia’s economy is forecast to continue slowly growing, and that should be enough to spur motor oil demand to increase at a compound annual rate of 1.6 percent through 2023, according to a market research firm.
Russia generates approximately 1.2 million metric tons of waste lubricants annually, but only a fraction is recycled, so a Russian association is encouraging more of the practice.
Total unveiled its new lubricants blending plant in Kaluga, Russia, Monday, saying it will reduce reliance on imports and cut delivery times both domestically and in neighboring markets such as Belarus and Central Asian countries.
Economic problems in Russia helped halt the rising penetration of synthetic engine oils in the country, an industry insider told a conference in Moscow last week.
Joint venture Azmol-British Petrochemicals ramped up its production this year, with European automakers recommending its lubricants for their vehicles, and entered new markets for the first time since restarting operations in 2017, the company said.
Gazprom Neft’s lubricant blending plant in Omsk, Russia, introduced a packaging line that increases filling capacity and boosts production efficiency, the company said last week.
As Moscow faces new constraints on its hydrocarbons industry, the country’s lubricants business could also be damaged. To what extent is up for debate.
Some small-volume chemicals—like lube additives—may have slipped through the cracks of REACH registration in the EU, creating potential supply chain disruptions.
Devaluation of the Russian ruble has helped boost base oil and finished lubricant exports from the country and is also helping shield against imports of the same products, according to industry insiders.
Gazpromneft-Lubricants reported that it sold 319,000 metric tons of base oils and finished lubricants during the first half of 2018, a 20 percent increase from the same period of 2017. Officials attributed the improvement to sales growth in Russia and abroad.
Rosneft’s sales of what it calls premium lubricants rose by 17 percent to 70,000 metric tons in 2017 thanks to stepped-up marketing in the corporate and retail segments, the company said in its latest annual report.
Slack wax from Russia and Uzbekistan is in high demand and selling for higher prices in Europe due to the holiday season in Poland and technical issues experienced by several major wax producers in Western Europe, an industry insider told Lube Report.
Russia exported almost 39,000 new passenger cars in 2017, up 23 percent from the year before, but accounting for just 2.8 percent of the 1.4 million cars produced in the country in the same year, according to Autostat, a consultancy that specializes in the Russian automotive industry.
Sanctions drafted by the United States senate aim to punish Russian oil companies and banks, but Russian sources insist they will not harm the country’s lubricant industry, which would rely more on local products. However, they warn it could effectively cut the industry off from international markets.