Korean Base Oil Exports Up in October

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Korean Base Oil Exports Up in October

South Korea exported more base oil in October than in the same month in 2019, according to Korea Customs Service data. However, the value was down year to year, as it has been during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country exported 351,803 metric tons of base oil in October, 7% higher that the 328,315 tons in the same month in 2019.

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Base oil exports for this October were valued at $204.7 million, down 15% from $241.6 million.

South Korea is one of the world’s largest base oil exporters, sending most of the volume that it produces to markets around the world to generate healthy profits for the nations’ refiners. Those include SK Lubricants, S-Oil, GS Caltex and Hyundai Shell Base Oil.

The monthly export volume has varied widely during the pandemic. The lowest point occurred in May, when it declined to 247,102 tons, down 39% year to year. The high point was 397,573 tons in June, up 15% from the same month last year.

For the first 10 months of 2020, the country exported 3.6 million tons of base oil, down 5% from 3.8 million in the year-earlier period.

The country imported 35,304 tons of base oil in October, down 30% from 50,177 tons of base oil in the same month last year. Year-to-date through October, the country imported 350,514 tons, up 1% from 345,887 tons.

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