Sri Lanka’s lubricant consumption in 2012 has declined by as much as 2,220 kilolitres (or 3.8 percent) to 56,334 kilolitres from a year ago, according to lubricant market shadow regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).
This is despite the sector revenue increasing by 11 percent to Rs.20.8 billion for the year.
The volume was mainly impacted by the fall in the vehicle imports, as a result of the interest rate and imports duty hike in 1Q12.
The interest rates and import duties on imported motor vehicles were jacked up to avert a balance of payment crisis caused by a consumption wave led by imported motor vehicles in 2010 and 2012.
The total motor vehicle registration for 2012 was 397,000, a decline from 525,000 a year ago.
Meanwhile, the lubricant volumes appear to be of no better in the current year and have shown a continuous decline in the first three quarters, although figures for exact quantities are still not out.
“Contraction in lubricant consumption continued for the third quarter as well, mainly due to reduced demand from thermal power plants with the significant increase in hydropower production, adverse weather conditions affecting the agricultural and fisheries sector and continued overall market volume contraction, with extended oil drain intervals in the automotive segment as a result of consumers moving from lower tier to higher tier technology,” said Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC CEO Kishu Gomes releasing the 3Q results.
Despite Chevron Lanka has been able to retain its position as the market leader, its market share has declined to 55 percent in 2012 from 57 percent in 2011.
Sri Lankan lubricant market is served by 13 players. Out of which, Chevron and Lanka IOC, the only lube blenders in the country, account for as much as 65 percent of the lubricant requirement locally.
Chevron’s Kolonnawa blending plant accounts for nearly 90 percent of this, while Lanka IOC’s China Bay’s plant blends the rest.
Lanka IOC has a market share of 11 percent, followed by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (10 percent) and ExxonMobil (7.6 percent).
During 2012, the country has imported as much as 22,000 kilolitres of finished lubricants and greases worth of Rs.4.8 billion.
The government has received Rs.61 million from the authorized parties by way of bi-annual fixed and in some cases a variable registration fee in 2012.