South Korea Base Oil Exports Decline

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South Korea Base Oil Exports Decline

South Korea base oil exports volume fell 27%, and the declared value of the exported base oil declined 19% in December, a government agency reported. For full-year 2022, the nation’s base oil exports decreased 10% in volume, but was up by the same percentage points in value, compared to 2021.

South Korea exported 300,156 tons of base oil in December, compared to 408,826 tons in the same month in 2021. The December volume was the lowest monthly total last year, just below 300,518 tons in June. The highest export volume for a month was 414,605 tons in September.

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In December, the declared value of the exported base oil declined 19% to $348 million, compared to $428.2 million. That was the lowest export value for a month last year, slightly less than $350.8 million in January. It was also the lowest monthly export value since $323.6 million in May 2021. The highest export value for a month last year was $574.5 million in September.

During 2022, base oil exports decreased to 4.2 million tons, compared to 4.7 million tons. The export value for 2022 topped $5.1 billion, compared to $4.7 billion. The 2022 export value was more than double the $2.5 billion in export value in 2020, when the base oil industry was most impacted by COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns.

Base oil imports into South Korea dropped 51% in December to 20,666 tons, from 42,177 tons. It was the second lowest monthly volume last year, ahead of 20,175 tons in August.  The highest import volume was 50,272 tons in July.

The declared import value also fell by the same percentage to $21.8 million, compared to $43.7 million. That was the second lowest import value last year, ahead of $19.8 million in October.  The highest declared import value was $72.9 million in July.

During 2022, the country imported 363,170 tons of base oil, a 21% drop from 457,700 tons. The declared value of base oil imported edged up 1% last year to $451.3 million.

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