Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC, the market leader in Sri Lanka’s lubricant market, saw its market share declining further during the third quarter of last year (3Q18), the lubricant market data released by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), showed.
The PUCSL functions as the shadow regulator for the lubricant market. Chevron Lubricant’s market share during 3Q18 fell to 37.23 percent or 6,127 kilo litres, from 38.38 percent of 6,498 kilo litres in the corresponding quarter of 2017.
Chevron Lubricants, blender and marketer of Caltex-branded lubricants across the country, has seen a steady decline in its market share for years, as players with price advantage gradually grabbed the share from the relatively expensive Caltex products.
For instance, Caltex, which had a market share of 47.58 percent in 2015, saw its share declining to 45.29 percent in 2016 and 39.89 percent in 2017, although the country’s vehicle population more than doubled during the three years.
Today, Chevron’s market share has nearly halved from its 2009 peak of 71 percent.
Sri Lanka roughly has a 65,000 kilo litre lubricant market.
Chevron Lubricant appears to have found it tough operating in an extremely price-sensitive market, where the consumers rapidly shift to cheaper alternatives with minimum standards.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited, the second largest player in the market, has increased its market share to 17.99 percent during 3Q18, from 17.11 percent a year ago.
The company sells little under 3,000 kilo litres of lubricants in a quarter.
Meanwhile, Exon Mobil has sharply increased its market share to 7.02 percent or 1,155 kilo litres during 3Q18, from 5.03 percent a year ago.
Laugfs, which made quick inroads into the cluttered market to capture a sizable market share initially, has faltered a bit with its share sliding to 9.02 percent, from 9.53 percent a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the state-owned lubricant supplier, suffered the most during the period under review with its market share shrinking to 5.98 percent, from 8.06 percent a year ago.
With the liberalization of the lubricant market, the margins and the market shares of the existing players are expected to come under pressure further going forward.