Laugfs, ExxonMobil grab Sri Lanka lube market share in 2018 1Q

ECONOMYNEXT – ExxonMobil and Laugfs has gained lubricant market share in Sri Lanka the first quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, but market leader Chevron Lubricants appeared to have clawed by some volumes compared to the full year 2017, official data shows.

Chevron Lubricants Lanka Plc’s market share fell to 41.9 percent in the March quarter from 46.9 percent a year earlier, a report by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka shows.

According to full year 2017 Chevron’s market share was down to 39.98 percent from 45.29 percent in 2016.

The lubricant market in Sri Lanka had fallen the quarter to 16,843 kilolitres sold from 17,278 kilolitres a year earlier.

Chevron, a privatized state firm, had been steadily losing market share, as the lubricants sector was progressively liberalized restoring economic freedoms lost to riders and drivers in 1961, when petroleum was made a state monopoly.

Chevron’s market share nearly halved from 71 percent in 2009 to 39.9 percent in 2017.

Chevron’s long-serving chief executive Kishu Gomes resigned suddenly this May without any explanation. Its slock price had also fallen.

The multi-national, then Caltex, acquired the state lubricants monopoly in 1994 and enjoyed a monopoly until 2003. A domestic blending monopoly continued for several more years.

The oil giant had been speaking against further liberalization and giving economic freedoms to citizens of Sri Lanka. It had also warned against so-called ‘fake’ lubricants, made up of recycled used oils.

Sri Lanka has now called for proposals to license more lubricant brands.





One of the biggest gainers during the March 2018 quarter was Laugfs, a Sri Lanka based company, with its market share increasing to 5.9 percent from 3.5 percent a year earlier. Laugfs carried out a rebranding exercise last year.

ExxonMobil grew its share to 7.2 percent from 5.4 percent a year earlier.

Second largest market player Lanka IOC Plc managed to marginally grow its market share to 16.7 percent in the first quarter, from 16.6 percent a year earlier.

The state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the third largest, saw its market share fall to 7 percent from 7.9 percent a year earlier. (Colombo/Sept07/2018)

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