South Korea Base Oil Exports Rise


South Korean base oil exports jumped 29 percent over the past three years, while at the same time prices for those oils fell, customs statistics showed.

According todata from the Korea Customs Service (KCS), the country exported 3.9 million tons of base oil in 2014, a 29 percent increase from3.1 tons of2012.

China moved into the top position among destinations for South Korean base oil exports, beating India and the United States. China’s base oil import from South Korea has almost doubled since 2012, rising from 435,494 tons that year to 858,462 tons in 2014. China is one of the worlds top base oil producing nations but is also one of the two largest finished lubricant markets and one of the largest net importers of base stocks.

South Korean exported 738,754 tons of base stocks to India last year, 563,100 tons to the United States, 375,346 tons to Japan, 322,897 tons to Singapore and 292,437 tons to the Netherlands.

South Korea has for years been among the worlds biggest net exporters of base oils, thanks to API Group II and III plants operated by S-Oil, SK Lubricants and GS-Caltex. During 2014 a joint venture between Hyundai Oilbank and Shell opened a fourth plant.

According to KCS, the average price of the nations base oil exports dropped 12 percent fromU.S. $1,173 per ton in 2012 to$1,037 per ton last year. Average prices of exports by country were calculated$996 per ton for China,$965 per ton for India and$1,042 per ton for the United States in 2014.

As for finished lubricants, South Korea exported 778,665 tons in 2014, a 17 percent rise from 2012. The country exported 142,337 tons of motor oil valued at$299,967,000last year. The main destination countries were Russia (31,030tons), China (29,031tons) andPakistan (20,088tons).

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