July Strong for South Korean Base Oils


South Korea exported a greater volume of base oils in July, compared to the same month last year, while the declared export value reached its highest monthly amount for this year, reflecting a continued trend in higher base oil prices.

The country exported 421,805 metric tons of base oil in July, an 8% increase from 391,894 tons in the same month last year, according to data released by the Korea Customs Service. This was the second highest export volume for a month this year, behind only the 425,705 tons total posted in April. Sequentially, this year’s July total was up 10% from 384,127 tons in June.

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The declared value of base oil exported by South Korea in July jumped 141% to $449.6 million, improving from $186.9 million in the same month last year. This represented the highest base oil export value for a month this year, topping the $400.4 million market set in April, and was only the second time in the past 12 months that the export value topped $400 million. Sequentially, the July 2021 total was up 16% from $388.9 million in June.

South Korea is one of the world’s largest base oil exporters, sending most of its volume to markets around the world to generate healthy profits for the nation’s refiners. Those include SK LubricantsS-OilGS Caltex and Hyundai Shell Base Oil.

The country imported 47,353 tons of base oil in July, down 3% from 49,038 tons in July 2020. Sequentially, this was more than double the 22,736 tons of base oil imported in June.

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