August 06, 2020

Increased Availability of RON 100 Gasoline Drives Transition to Higher Octane Grades

Stratas Advisors

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Stratas Advisors is pleased to present current market octane share by country, which has been updated since the last report (see Insights, Oct. 8, 2019) and includes historical octane market share dating as far back as 2010. Octane is regulated in various regions and countries using different approaches. Many countries establish minimum RON and MON levels for gasoline, whereas AKI is typically used in the Americas. Generally, it is required that refueling pumps indicate the octane level being sold as vehicle technologies require different octane and one or more grades can be found at the pump.

Notably across the world, current gasoline octane grades range widely from RON 80 to RON 110, or AKI 81 to 91 in the Americas. Several countries have two or more grades available on their markets, while a number of African countries have only one gasoline grade on their markets including Nigeria (RON 91), Libya (RON 95), etc. As of 2020, Iraq has the highest number of gasoline grades on its market with a total of seven grades of RON 80, 82, 84, 91, 95, 97 and 98, followed by Indonesia with a total of six grades. In addition, the countries of Kazakhstan, Peru, Russia and Turkey have as many as five gasoline grades on each of their markets. Furthermore, countries such as China, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Philippines, Tajikistan, Tunisia and Ukraine have four gasoline grades available on their markets.

Generally, it is observed across the world that regular grades have an octane rating ranging from RON 80 to RON 97 (or AKI 81 to 87), while premium grades have an octane rating ranging from RON 90 to RON 110 (or AKI 87 to 91). For example, the regular grade in Europe is often RON 95 (see table below), while in the CIS, it ranges from RON 80 to 95. Regular grades often dominate the gasoline pool due to their cheaper price, and are thus more popular with consumers. Exceptions apply to seven countries, where their premium grade gasoline is found to be more popular than regular grade gasoline. The seven countries include Brunei, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Qatar and Thailand.

EU-28 Average Gasoline Market Share by RON 

 RON  91  95  96  97  98  100
 EU-28 average  0.5%  86.2%  2.5%  2.5%  6.4%  1.9%

Source: Stratas Advisors citing various petroleum associations and energy ministries, European Environment Agency, EU Fuel Quality Monitoring Reports, 2020

Higher Octane Gasoline Grades

Stratas Advisors observes an increase in the availability of gasoline grades of RON 100 and above, not only in some of the mature markets, but also in emerging markets (see list of countries below). Some of the grades are offered as racing fuel at the pump or in containers and drums, while other grades are offered to provide a competitive edge over other retailers. In markets where RON 100 gasoline and above are available, sales volumes are estimated to be less than 5% of the total gasoline pool, except for Croatia, Luxembourg, Montenegro and Serbia where market share ranges between 6-8%, while the share is higher than 10% in Japan. Regarding Montenegro, Luxembourg and Serbia, it is worthwhile to note that the share of RON 100 is estimated based on the share of grades ranging between RON 98-100, which is relatively high.

  • Australia
  • EU (e.g. Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, U.K., etc.)
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Montenegro
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Turkey

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